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ISLAMABAD: The joint-opposition went into a shock when National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri on Sunday dismissed the no-confidence resolution against Prime Minister Imran Khan, terming it against Article-5 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan.

The National Assembly session started with the chair of Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri as the joint-opposition submitted vote of no-confidence resolution.

Taking the floor shortly after the National Assembly session began Law Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that loyalty to the state was the basic duty of every citizen under Article 5(1). He said that the prime minister earlier said that a foreign conspiracy was behind the move to oust his government.

“This no-confidence resolution against the Prime Minister is a conspiracy of a foreign country which is violation of the Article-5 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan,” he claimed.

“On March 7, our official ambassador was invited to a meeting attended by the representatives of other countries. The meeting was told that a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister Imran Khan was being presented,” he said, noting that this occurred a day before the opposition formally filed the no-trust move.

The minister said, “We were told that relations with Pakistan were dependent on the success of the no-confidence motion. We were told that if the motion fails, then Pakistan’s path would be very difficult.

This is an operation for a regime change by a foreign government,” he alleged.

During the speech of the minister, the treasury members started slogans ‘’America ka jo yar hai, gadar hai, gadar hai.”

Fawad Chaudhry also questioned how this could be allowed and called on the deputy speaker to decide the constitutionality of the no-confidence resolution against the prime minister.

“Mr Speaker, you should give ruling against this conspiracy (vote of no-confidence resolution against the Prime Minister) under Article-5 of the Constitution,” the minister said.

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According to Article 5: (1) “Loyalty to the State is the basic duty of every citizen. (2) Obedience to the Constitution and law is the (inviolable) obligation of every citizen wherever he may be and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan.”

On the remarks of the Minister, Deputy Speaker said while giving ruling, “The no-confidence resolution was presented on March 8 and should be according to the law and the Constitution. No foreign power shall be allowed to topple an elected government through a conspiracy.

The points raised by the Minister are valid. I dismiss the no-confidence resolution which is contradictory to the Constitution and law. I prorogue the session for an indefinite period.”’

On the ruling of the Deputy Speaker, the joint-opposition went into a shock and the opposition members remained silent by sitting in their chairs.

After proroguing the House, the joint-opposition started proceeding “symbolically” and held their own “mock session” in the hall of National Assembly with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s former Speaker Ayaz Sadiq sitting on the Speaker’s seat.

During the proceedings, a total of 197 members voted in favour of the no-confidence resolution through division method announced by Ayaz Sadiq.

On this occasion, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif termed the development as “nothing short of high treason”.

“Imran Khan has pushed the country into anarchy. Niazi and his cohort will not be allowed to go scot-free. There will be consequences for [the] blatant and brazen violation of the Constitution. Hope the Supreme Court will play its role to uphold the Constitution,” he said.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari claimed that the government had violated the Constitution by not allowing voting to take place on the no-confidence resolution.

“The united opposition is not leaving Parliament. Our lawyers are on their way to the Supreme Court. We call on all institutions to protect, uphold, defend, and implement the Constitution of Pakistan.”

PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari termed the dismissal of no-confidence resolution against Prime Minister Imran Khan “totally illegal” and said the Constitution did not allow the dissolution of assemblies at this stage.

While talking to media, he said, “The court has sat down. Let’s see what it says (on the matter).”

He added that “we are prepared for everything ... even for elections”.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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