The National Assembly session on Saturday resumed after a delay of two hours at 2:30 pm and voting on no-confidence motion will likely be held at 8 pm.
The session, being held to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence on Supreme Court’s order, began at 10:30 am with Speaker Asad Qaiser in the chair.
Voting on the no-confidence motion against the prime minister is the fourth item on the day’s agenda. While the opposition has come out in full force, very few members of the treasury benches are in attendance. Prime Minister Imran Khan is also not present.
Leader of the opposition Shehbaz Sharif addressed the session. Later, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi took the floor and the opposition members started king noise on which the speaker adjourned the session.
When the delayed session resumed, Qureshi continued his speech.
Earlier, taking the floor, Shehbaz hailed Thursday as a historic day in the country’s history when the apex court rejected the deputy speaker’s ruling.
According to the PML-N leader, the decision had made Pakistan’s future “bright”.
He also thanked the opposition leadership for struggling against the erroneous ruling, the fruits of which the country was seeing.
He urged the speaker to conduct proceedings in accordance with the court’s directives, stating that parliament would be writing history today. “Today, parliament is going to defeat a selected prime minister in a constitutional manner,” he declared.
Shehbaz told the speaker to let bygones be bygones and to stand for the law and the constitution. He urged him 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 Speaker Asad, adding that the apex court’s directives were clear.
Responding to Shehbaz’s earnest plea, the speaker assured him 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, as the hall echoed with protests from the opposition benches.
This 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,” Speaker Asad 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 constitutional violations, he said that it was obligatory “on us to respect the Constitution”. “As the prime minister said yesterday, he is disappointed but has accepted the court’s decision,” Qureshi said, referring to PM Imran’s address on Friday night.
“Pakistan’s history is full of constitutional violations,” he said. The minister went on to say that the doctrine of necessity should have been buried, voicing his happiness at the “evolution” of Pakistan’s democracy.
“I am happy that Pakistan’s democracy has evolved and that we all are not ready to take its (doctrine of necessity) support,” he added.