Pakistan political crisis latest updates: Khan removed as PM
News from April 9: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has been removed from office after no-confidence motion against him succeeds.
- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been removed from office on Sunday after a no-confidence motion brought against him succeeds by a vote of 174-0.
- This is the first time a no-confidence motion against a prime minister of Pakistan has been successful.
- Speaker Asad Qaiser who was to preside over the vote, ordered by the Supreme Court, resigned prior to the vote.
- A defiant Khan says he is in a fight to protect the country’s sovereignty and has called his supporters to the streets to defy opponents determined to unseat him.
- Khan acted unconstitutionally last Sunday in blocking the no-confidence vote and dissolving parliament, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, ordering parliament to reconvene.
The live blog is now closed, thank you for joining us. Here are the updates for April 9.
‘Will not seek revenge’: Sharif
Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif has said his party “will not seek revenge” in a brief speech in parliament after the vote.
“We will not put people in jails but the law will take its course,” he added.
Sharif thanked other opposition leaders for what he called their struggle and support, adding that “this unity will rebuild Pakistan”.
Prime Minister Khan ousted from office
Khan has been removed from the prime minister’s office after the no-confidence motion against him succeeds in parliament by a vote of 174-0.
This is the first time the no-confidence motion against a prime minister of Pakistan has been successful.
Voting on no-confidence motion begins
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq from the Prime MinisterL-N, now the presiding officer of the National Assembly, has ordered the no-confidence vote proceedings to start, minutes after Khan ally and parliament speaker Asad Qaiser resigned.
Speaker of assembly resigns
The Speaker of National Assembly Asad Qaiser has resigned from his position, he announced in parliament.
“I have decided, keeping in view the letter which I’ll share with the Supreme Court, that I can no longer stay at the office of speaker,” Qaiser said.
I’ll ask Ayaz Sadiq form the PML-N to come and complete the legal procedure (hold voting on no-confidence motion), he said.
Reports of change in army leadership false: Minister
Federal Minister of Information Fawad Chaudhry has denied local media reports that any change has been made in the army leadership.
حکومت کو آرمی چیف اور پاکستان کی افواج کی ادارہ جاتی تنظیم کا مکمل ادراک ہے ایسی افواہیں کہ فوج کی قیادت میں تبدیلی کا سوچا بھی جا رہا ہے انتہائ لغو اور بے بنیاد ہیں اور ایک منصوبے کے تحت پھیلائ جا رہی ہیں حکومت ان افواہوں کی مذمت کرتی ہے اور مکمل تردید کرتی ہے
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) April 9, 2022
Lawyers’ body asks court to start contempt proceedings
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has submitted a petition to the Supreme Court over the government’s failure to hold a vote of no confidence.
SCBA President Ahsan Bhoon told Geo TV that the court order is not being implemented and “extra-constitutional measures are being adopted by the government”.
Army chief meets PM amid impasse over vote: sources
Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has met Prime Minister Khan amid an impasse over the no-confidence vote, two sources familiar with the situation told the Reuters news agency.
The vote is yet to happen despite the passage of nearly 12 hours since the session started.
Khan not resigning, no vote tonight: AJ correspondent
Al Jazeera’s correspondent Osama Bin Javaid is reporting from Islamabad that according to a government source, voting will not take place tonight.
Moreover, Javaid tweeted the source said the diplomatic cable that Khan has used to accuse the US of regime change will be shown to the chief justice of Pakistan, speaker of the national assembly, the army chief and the senate chairman.
–#ImranKhan not resigning.
–#ForeignConspiracy "letter to be shown to Cheif Justice, Army Chief, Speaker National Assembly, Chairman Senate.
-There will be no vote tonight (as deadline for #voteofnoconfidence expires in two hours)
A govt source tells @AJEnglish
— Osama Bin Javaid (@osamabinjavaid) April 9, 2022
National Assembly speaker agrees to hold voting
Speaker Asad Qaiser has reportedly agreed to hold voting on no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Khan.
The Speaker had a discussion with senior officials of the parliament house, who convinced the speaker not to flout the orders of the Supreme Court, news outlet Geo TV reported.
Meanwhile, there were reports that Supreme Court was ready to take up the matter if the voting does not take place.
Supreme Court must take action against Khan: Opposition leader
Maryam Nawaz of the PML-N has urged Pakistan’s Supreme Court to take action against Prime Minister Khan and others for disobeying its decision to hold the no-confidence vote today.
“Supreme Court of Pakistan must take immediate suo motto notice of brazen violation of its decision & order arrests of Imran Khan, Speaker & Deputy Speaker before he blows everything up,” she tweeted.
Supreme Court of Pakistan must take immediate suo motto notice of brazen violation of its decision & order arrests of Imran Khan, Speaker & Deputy Speaker before he blows everything up. Bureaucracy/administrations should refuse to comply with any orders coming from the government
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) April 9, 2022
Interactive: Inflation in Pakistan
Parliament secretariat urges speaker to conduct vote: local media
According to Pakistani news outlet Geo News, the National Assembly Secretariat has asked Speaker Asad Qaiser to conduct the no-confidence vote against the prime minister.
The national assembly secretariat convinces speaker Asad Qaiser to conduct the vote, reports Geo News.
— Benazir Shah (@Benazir_Shah) April 9, 2022
PPP senator asks army to step in and resolve the crisis
Pakistan People’s Party Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar has asked army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to play a role if the government does not hold a vote of no confidence.
“If today the speaker and the government do not follow the clear order of the Supreme Court, then General Bajwa should play his role in this crisis,” Khokhar wrote on Twitter.
“Yes! He should also issue a statement saying that he stands by the Constitution, democracy and the decision of the Supreme Court like a professional soldier,” he added.
Parliament proceedings face another delay
The National Assembly speaker has once again delayed the proceedings of the crucial session till 21:30pm (16:30 GMT).
Moments after the session resumed, opposition members rose up and started chanting “voting” – demanding a vote on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
National Assembly speaker refuses to hold vote
Asad Qaiser has refused to hold a vote of no confidence against Khan, Geo TV reported.
The crucial session is once again on a break, this time for Iftar (opening fast) as opposition leaders are holding meetings to deal with the evolving situation.
Pakistan only good to US when ‘subservient’: Minister
Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari has accused the US of orchestrating regime change in Pakistan, and that relations between the two nations where only good when Islamabad was “subservient”.
“We don’t have a deep-seated relationship with the US, we have deep-seated subservience,” she said in parliament.
PM Khan cabinet to meet as delay continues
Khan has called a cabinet meeting later today as the no-confidence vote was further delayed.
The cabinet will meet at 9pm (16:00 GMT) on Saturday, people familiar with the matter said, according to the Reuters news agency.
PTI files review petition against Supreme Court decision
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has filed a review petition against the Supreme Court order to delay a vote of no confidence.
On Thursday, the top court declared the speaker’s ruling which paved the way for the dissolution of assemblies as contrary to Pakistani law and the Constitution.
In its review petition, the PTI said that the court cannot interfere in parliament’s affairs, local media reported.
The move, according to legal experts, is aimed to delay the vote against Prime Minister Khan further.
Minister accuses Supreme Court of interference in Parliament’s affairs
Pakistan’s minister of planning, Asad Umar, has criticised the Supreme Court, saying it had no right to interfere in the affairs of the parliament.
“The Supreme Court’s decision is an interference in the supremacy of the parliament,” said Umar, who is also a close aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“We respect the Supreme Court, but we are not ready to give up our [parliamentary] rights,” he added while addressing the parliament.
Committing contempt of court, Zardari tells gov’t
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has accused the speaker of parliament, Asad Qaiser, of committing contempt of the court by delaying a vote of no confidence.
“A five-judge bench issued the order and you [the speaker] could not have taken any other agenda than voting on a no-confidence motion,” said Zardari. “Implement the court order,” he urged Parliament.
“We respect the order but the court cannot interfere in Parliament’s affairs,” member of PTI and officer Amjad Ali Khan said.
Minister proposes in-camera session on ‘foreign conspiracy’
Resuming his speech in parliament, foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has offered the opposition an in-camera session on foreign conspiracy if they had any doubts.
“Let’s go into an in-camera session and let the ambassador of Pakistan to the USA come and tell the house,” Qureshi said, adding that there had been “blatant attempts of regime change” in Pakistan.
Imran Khan has accused the United States of conspiring with the opposition to remove him.
Parliament session to decide Khan’s fate resumes
The crucial National Assembly session to vote on a no-confidence motion moved by the opposition parties has resumed.
Speaker Asad Qaiser, a Khan ally, had said the session would resume at 12:30 pm (07:30 GMT), but there were no signs of parliament reconvening for more than three hours.
‘Maniac’s fear of having to face the music’: Sharif
Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and daughter of former premier Nawaz Sharif, has accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of trying to delay the vote of no confidence in parliament.
“A maniac’s fear of having to face the music has brought the entire country to a grinding halt and a complete standstill. The country of 22 crore (220 million) is without a government for weeks now,” she tweeted.
“This blatant violation of constitution and disregard to (Supreme Court) orders will be ugly and end badly.”
Who is Shehbaz Sharif, frontrunner for next Pakistan PM?
Shehbaz Sharif, the person most likely to be Pakistan’s next prime minister, is little known outside his home country but has a reputation domestically as an effective administrator more than as a politician.
The younger brother of three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz, 70, is leading a bid by the opposition in parliament to topple Imran Khan, and if a vote of no-confidence goes ahead on Saturday he is widely expected to replace Khan.
Read more here.
Parliament session delayed by 90 minutes
The crucial parliamentary session to vote on the opposition’s no-confidence motion is delayed.
The speaker had adjourned the session till 12:30pm (07:30 GMT), but the proceedings have not resumed 90 minutes later.
The opposition has accused the government of delaying tactics in holding the vote.
Opposition leader asks speaker not to delay no-trust vote
Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has met National Assembly Speaker Asad Qasier, asking him not to delay the voting, Geo TV has reported.
Zardari asked the speaker not to use “delaying tactics” and hold the voting at the earliest.
Pakistani analysts say the government is delaying the vote to “frustrate” the opposition.
PTI lawmaker @asmaqadeer4 is busy scrawling "Zameerfrosh Murdabad," "Amreeka ka Jo yar ha ghaddar ha" on placards while opposition members wait patiently for the session to begin
Opposition alliance plans to vote out PM Imran Khan and elect Shehbaz Sharif new leader of the house pic.twitter.com/xyhwudVvZC
— Aamir Saeed (@AamirSaeed_) April 9, 2022
PML-N claims it has the numbers to remove Khan
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokeswoman Marriyum Aurangzeb claims 176 members of the National Assembly will vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In a tweet, the spokeswoman shared a break-up of legislators who she says are supporting the opposition’s no-confidence motion against Khan and are present in the house.
Update from National Assembly . Members present to vote for No Confidence against Imran Khan @pmln_org pic.twitter.com/t7Dd0rEAEc
— Marriyum Aurangzeb (@Marriyum_A) April 9, 2022
Will Imran Khan attend parliament session?
The embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan has not been seen in the parliament so far during the crucial session. The cricketer-turned-politician has often been criticised for not attending the proceedings of the house.
Neither Khan nor his party have issued any statement so far on whether Khan would attend the National Assembly, where a no-confidence motion against him is set to be put to vote.
The treasury benches look empty in the ongoing session, with a number of legislators from the ruling coalition deserting Khan and switching to the opposition alliance.
Deputy speaker defends blocking April 3 no-trust vote
Parliament’s deputy speaker has defended his ruling which blocked the opposition’s no-confidence motion on April 3.
“How can you overlook direct attack on the state?” Qasim Suri told Geo TV, claiming he did not violate the constitution by his move, which was overturned by the Supreme Court on Thursday.
“The entire nation felicitated me and I am proud of my ruling,” Suri said. “The entire nation is still with Imran Khan”.
The Supreme Court can order ANY state organ to compel ANYONE to comply with its orders. It can also take Suo Motu notice of any attempt by Speaker, PM or President to obstruct implementation of its orders.
— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) April 9, 2022
Khan’s PTI wants probe into ‘foreign conspiracy’
Before the National Assembly session was adjourned, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his address referred to an alleged “foreign conspiracy” to topple the government.
Qureshi said the governing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party wants a probe into the diplomatic cable in which a foreign country had threatened Pakistan.
Khan has accused the US of conspiring with the opposition to remove him.
Speaker adjourns National Assembly session
The National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has adjourned the meeting of the house until 12:30 pm (07:30 GMT) amid protest by the opposition leaders.
After reading details of a court ruling ordering the no-trust vote, which Khan’s allies had blocked last Sunday, Qaiser adjourned the session. He did not give a reason for halting the session before the vote.
Shehbaz urges speaker to hold no-trust vote
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif has urged the parliament’s speaker to hold a vote on the no-confidence motion moved by the opposition.
“The Supreme Court declared steps taken by you and Prime Minister Khan as unconstitutional, so please hold a vote as per the court ruling,” he said.
“It is the moment and you must catch this moment with conviction and don’t follow a selected prime minister,” he said.
In response, Speaker Asad Qaiser said, “I have read the Supreme Court decision and will follow that in letter and spirit but we want to have a discussion on a ‘foreign conspiracy’.”
Crucial parliament session starts
The crucial meeting of the National Assembly has started, with Speaker Asad Qaiser presiding over the session.
Orders of the day for the session of the National Assembly to be held on Saturday, the 9th April, 2022 at 10:30 a.m.#NASession @appcsocialmedia @PTVNewsOfficial @PTV_Parliament @demp_gov @GovtofPakistan pic.twitter.com/5l6UlSHvN8
— National Assembly of Pakistan🇵🇰 (@NAofPakistan) April 8, 2022
PTI may try to delay voting: Opposition
PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah says his party fears the government will try to delay the voting through a discussion on the alleged foreign conspiracy against Imran Khan.
“Though they [government] will try to delay, the Supreme Court ruling had make it mandatory to hold the crucial vote today,” Sanaullah told reporters.
Parliament put under tight security
Special security arrangements have been made for the crucial session of the National Assembly as security staff deny the entry of those without a security pass.
Many journalists and guests of legislators who were not issued passes for Saturday’s session were denied entry into the building, local Geo TV reports.
Opposition to meet before crucial session
Legislators and leaders of various political parties have started arriving in the parliament building for the crucial session that is scheduled to start at 10:30 am local time (05:30 GMT).
Before the session, the opposition parties which have moved a no-confidence motion against Imran Khan will meet to discuss their strategy in the house.
D-Day: Grand Opposition assemble here. #NoConfidenceMotionVote pic.twitter.com/DZTCRMrdtH
— Zahid Gishkori (@ZahidGishkori) April 9, 2022
Khan calls for street rallies in his support
In an impassioned televised address to the nation on the eve of a no-confidence vote in parliament, Khan urged Pakistanis – particular the country’s young who have been the backbone of his support since the former cricket star-turned-politician came to power in 2018 – to rally countrywide on Sunday night.
“All of you will have to come out on Sunday after evening prayer to protest, to peacefully protest … I again say that should never indulge in violence,” he said.
“It should be a peaceful protest.”