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Imran Khan loses midnight no-confidence vote and is impeached as Pakistani PM


No prime minister has ever served a full term in Pakistan since its inception.

New Delhi:
Local reports showed extraordinary scenes of political unrest in Islamabad as the vote of no confidence was underway after a protracted and dramatic assembly session.

Here is your 10-point guide to this great story:

  1. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan became the country’s first prime minister to be removed from office by a vote of no confidence as the National Assembly voted him down after a marathon 14-hour session. The joint opposition – a rainbow of socialist, liberal and radically religious parties – won the support of 174 members out of a 342-member assembly, more than the strength of 172 needed to oust the prime minister. The assembly will meet again on Sunday at 2 p.m. to elect a new prime minister.

  2. Shehbaz Sharif, the man likely to replace Imran Khan, hailed the courage of the opposition saying he is not generally seen in Pakistani politics. “Pakistan is once again on the path of honesty and legality… We envision a bright future where we will not be vengeful and imprison innocent people,” he said.

  3. Chairman of the opposition PPP party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari congratulated the people of Pakistan. “Democracy has been under attack for the past three years. Welcome to purana (old) Pakistan,” he said in a joke during Imran Khan’s speech on “Naia (new) Pakistan.” Democracy is golden revenge, he added.

  4. Local reports showed extraordinary scenes of political unrest in Islamabad as the vote of no confidence was underway after a protracted and dramatic assembly session. Amid great drama, the president and vice president of the National Assembly resigned before the court’s deadline for the vote. The Supreme Court and High Court in Islamabad have been opened for a midnight contempt hearing. Prime Minister Khan had defiantly announced at the cabinet meeting that he would not step down.

  5. A van of prisoners had reached the assembly amid speculation that the president and vice president could be arrested if the vote does not take place by midnight, as ordered by the Supreme Court. Security was tightened at airports and an alert was issued that no senior state official or government official should leave the country without a No Objection Certificate (NOC).

  6. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had alleged that Prime Minister Khan was trying to create a constitutional crisis and seeking military intervention in the country’s political affairs by delaying the vote on the motion of no confidence. He also attacked the president, accusing him of contempt of court and abrogating the Constitution. Another opposition leader, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, vice-president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), criticized the government in a series of tweets, even calling for the arrest of Imran Khan, the president and the vice-president.

  7. Separately, Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf government led by Imran Khan has filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court challenging its decision to declare unconstitutional the vice president’s decision to reject the resolution of no confidence against the prime minister. The petition, however, has not yet been filed as the court officers did not process it upon receipt as they close early in Ramazan.

  8. Calling on the people of Pakistan to protect the sovereignty of the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan last night called on people to take to the streets and demonstrate peacefully against an “imported government”.

  9. Mr Khan’s Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf party effectively lost a majority in the assembly earlier this month when a key coalition partner said its seven lawmakers would vote with the opposition. More than a dozen ruling party lawmakers have indicated they will pass.

  10. Making sensational claims about a foreign plot, Prime Minister Khan claimed that foreign powers were trying to overthrow his government and Pakistani lawmakers were being traded like sheep to achieve this. “We learned that American diplomats were meeting with our people. Then we learned about the whole plan,” he said, adding that he was not free to divulge all the details publicly due to national security issues. The United States has outright rejected these claims saying that there is “absolutely no truth” to these claims.

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