ISLAMABAD : (Web Desk)_ National Assembly session is underway as the agenda includes vote on the crucial no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in line with Supreme Court’s verdict.
NA Speaker Asad Qaiser chaired the session which began at 10:30am sharp, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directives, and with the recitation of the Holy Quran. It was followed by the national anthem and Fatiha.
However, Amjad Khan Niazi is chairing the session as the session began after a two-hour delay.
At the beginning of Shehbaz’s speech, several of the PTI MNAs started interrupting his speech by chanting slogans.
Shehbaz told the speaker to conduct the session as per the order of the Supreme Court and added that today, the Opposition will oust the “selected” prime minister by adopting a lawful and constitutional procedure.
He also thanked the opposition leadership for struggling against the erroneous ruling, the fruits of which the country was seeing.
Opposition leader asked the Speaker to conduct proceedings in accordance with the SC’s directives.
Shehbaz told the speaker to let bygones be bygones and to stand for the law and the Constitution. He urged the speaker to play his role and to have his name “written in history in golden words”.
“You must cash in on this moment with conviction and with your heart and your mind. Don’t go on the dictation of the selected prime minister,” he urged Qaiser, adding that the apex court’s directives were clear.
Responding to Shehbaz’s earnest plea, Qaiser assured the opposition leader that he would conduct proceedings according to the law and the Constitution. “[But] the important thing is that there has been talk of an international conspiracy. This should also be discussed,” he said.
“his prompted Shehbaz to tell the speaker that he would be violating the court’s directives if he would go down that road. He also read out the court’s directives regarding the convening of the session.
“Under the court’s directives, you are bound to take up this agenda item and no other item. That is the intent of the order and you cannot deviate from it,” he said, calling on the speaker to hold voting on the motion forthwith.
“The SC’s orders will be followed in true letter and spirit,” Qaiser replied, giving the floor to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The foreign minister began by acknowledging that the opposition had the right to table a no-trust motion against the prime minister, but said that defending it was his obligation. “We intend to fight it in constitutional, political and democratic manner,” he asserted.
Talking about violations of constitution, he said that it was obligatory “on us to respect the Constitution”.
“Pakistan’s history is full of violations of constitution,” he said, adding that the doctrine of necessity should have been buried. “I am happy that Pakistan’s democracy has evolved and that we all are not ready to take its support,” he added.
“Today is Saturday and the session has started at 10:30am. The court said the session will not be prorogued unless the process of Article 95 and rule 37 is concluded,” he said.
However, it is important to present the context under which the court directed to summon the session again. He said that the clock was turned back and the apex court unanimously dismissed the April 3 ruling.
The minister said that the prime minister went to the people by dissolving the assembly, adding that the opposition had been calling for early polls for close to four years.
He reiterated that the government had accepted the court’s decision but questioned why the opposition parties went to the court and why the SC took suo motu notice. “The ruling the deputy speaker gave when he was chairing the session and he did not reject the constitutional process. He said a new situation had surfaced and that it should be probed in its light.”
Qureshi added that the National Security Committee (NSC), one of the country’s top forums, had seen the cable and concluded that it was a sensitive matter.
“The NSC took two decisions. First, they acknowledged there were interference in Pakistan’s internal matters and that a demarche must be issued,” he said, adding that the Foreign Office followed these directives.
“The second was to immediately summon the Parliamentary committee on National Security and for the matter to be presented before elected representatives so that they can get to the bottom of things.”
Bilawal, while addressing the House, told Amjad Khan Niazi he was violating the Constitution and the court’s order. “You cannot take up anything else except for what is on the agenda. Not only you, the speaker also did the same,” he told him, demanding that voting is held on the no-confidence motion.
At this, Niazi told the PPP chairman that the court can’t intervene in parliamentary matters.
Bilawal replied by saying that Niazi would be disqualified for violating the law, adding that this was not the first time the court had set aside the speaker’s ruling.
Turning his guns on PM Imran, Bilawal said that the premier was breaking the law on his way out of office. “If you want to be involved in it, then it’s your choice. But I had warned the prime minister to stay away from the man speaking before me,” he said, referring to the foreign minister.
The PPP chairman alleged that FM Qureshi was responsible for the premier’s troubles, again calling for a vote to be held on the no-confidence motion. “If you don’t come to today’s agenda, then you should know that the opposition will not leave […] we will snatch our constitutional rights from you.”
He said that the government had lost its majority in the assembly. “We can debate on the foreign conspiracy for 100 days but first conduct voting.”
No-trust motion submitted against NA Deputy Speaker
Opposition has submitted the no-confidence motion against the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri.
The no-trust motion was submitted by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) leader and opposition member Murtaza javed Abbasi.
On April 3, NA deputy speaker Qasim Suri had rejected no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan declaring it against Article-5 of the constitution.
Full text of Supreme Court verdict on NA Deputy Speaker’s ruling
Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the national assembly had been illegally dissolved, and ordered parliament to reconvene to hold a no-confidence vote that will likely see Prime Minister Imran Khan booted from office.
Khan asked the president to dissolve the assembly after the deputy speaker refused to allow a no-confidence vote against him on Sunday, but the Supreme Court said the action was illegal.
“All actions taken are of no legal effect and quashed,” the court ruling said. “The national assembly continues to remain in session.”
The decision was met with jubilation by some in the capital, with cars loaded with opposition supporters racing through the streets and sounding their horns.