Pakistan PM Imran Khan ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan lost a crucial trust vote in the National Assembly on Saturday midnight, becoming the first prime minister in the country’s history to be removed via a no-confidence motion.

Khan, 69, was not present in the lower house at the time of voting. His party MPs staged a walkout.

The United Opposition – a rainbow of socialist, liberal and fundamentally religious parties – garnered the support of 174 members in the 342-member National Assembly, far more than the number needed to remove the prime minister in a day full of drama and numerous adjournments. of the lower house.

No prime minister in the history of Pakistan has ever been ousted through a no-confidence motion. Khan is the first prime minister whose fate was decided through a trust vote.

Also, no Pakistani prime minister has completed a five-year term in office.

The opposition filed a no-confidence motion on March 8, setting out a set of events on polling day and increasing tensions due to Khan’s insistence that he be targeted as part of a “foreign conspiracy” with cooperation. was being done. Top opposition leader.

Khan, who came to power in 2018 with a promise to create a ‘Naya Pakistan’, was troubled by claims of economic mismanagement as his government grapples with depleting foreign exchange reserves and double-digit inflation.

He also apparently lost the backing of the mighty military after refusing to support the appointment of the head of the ISI spy agency last year. He eventually agreed, but it soured his ties with the powerful military, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its 75 years of existence, and has so far ruled on matters of security and foreign policy. Used a lot of power.

Khan wanted to keep Lt Gen Faiz Hameed as spy chief but the army high command transferred him by appointing a corps commander in Peshawar.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri resigned before the vote.

Kaiser said he could not be involved in a foreign conspiracy to remove the prime minister.

After his resignation was announced, the Speaker asked Ayaz Sadiq of the PML-N to preside over the proceedings.

Voting on the resolution then began at 11:58 am (local time). As the day changed at 12 o’clock, Sadiq adjourned the house for two minutes. After this the new session started at 12:02.

Earlier, the crucial session, convened in line with a landmark Supreme Court decision to decide the fate of Prime Minister Khan, saw several adjournments and heated debates.

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