On Saturday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi blamed the United States and other foreign powers for the dramatic political twist in Pakistan. Defending PM Imran Khan he said that it is now for the country’s people to decide ‘whether to live with its head held high or with its head bowed’. He also called the oppositions in the National Assembly ‘slaves of America’.
Pakistan’s parliament on April 9 began the session to take up the no-confidence resolution against Prime Minister Imran Khan, as ordered by the Supreme Court. The session was adjourned for some time, and the voting will take place at around 8 PM.
In absence of Imran Khan, Foreign Minister presented his position in the House and attacked the opposition’s move to execute a no-confidence motion against the PTI government. “It is the constitutional right of the opposition to move a no-confidence motion against the government, and it’s the government’s duty to defend it,”, he said as he slammed the opposition for allowing political interference in internal matters of Pakistan.
It is the constitutional right of the Opposition to move a no-confidence motion against the government, and it’s the government’s duty to defend it: Foreign Minister and PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi in National Assembly— ANI (@ANI) April 9, 2022
(Source: PTV) pic.twitter.com/QHrxuZkPhg
Qureshi further added that Pakistan’s visit to Russia was crucial for the development of the country. “This was before the Russia-Ukraine war broke out. But the visit was cancelled. US NSA had called the NSA of Pakistan and ordered us not to go to Russia. Pakistan is a sovereign state. Which nation is ordered around like this?”, he pondered in presence of 176 opposition members who were present in the assembly for the no-trust vote against Imran Khan.
The Foreign Minister stated that Pakistan PM Imran Khan has been humiliated several times at the global forums. “We want to build relations with China, Russia, America, EU, Islamic nations, Africa. We want good relations with all, that has been our policy but the US government wants to topple the PTI government. US wants to view Pakistan and India on different platforms. They said that they look at India through lens of China”, he reiterated.
They (US) want to view Pak & India on different platforms. They said that they look at India through lens of China. PTI govt wants good relations with everyone & expand our diplomatic reach including with Russia, China: Pak’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi— ANI (@ANI) April 9, 2022
(Source: PTV) pic.twitter.com/QGpt1C1FKo
Meanwhile the opposition leaders in the assembly said that Khan was using tactics to delay the no-trust motion. The SC had on Friday ordered that today’s session of the National Assembly cannot be prorogued till the vote of no-confidence against the Imran Khan’s government is held. Responding to this, Qureshi said that PTI govt is ready to face the vote today or tomorrow. While Imran Khan has still not arrived in the national assembly, the Pakistan Assembly has reconvened after a delay and said that no-trust vote to be held at 8 pm on April 9.
Pakistan’s political crisis-
Pakistan’s latest political crisis erupted last week, when Khan sidestepped the opposition’s initial no-confidence petition, a motion that had been weeks in the making and instead accused his opponents of colluding with the United States to remove him. Shehbaz Sharif, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and brother of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, tabled a no-confidence motion against Imran Khan’s government in the National Assembly on March 8. The resolution of no confidence was passed against Imran Khan in the midst of surging inflation and dire economic conditions in Pakistan.
Earlier on April 3, the national assembly was scheduled to vote on the no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan govt brought by the united opposition but it was rejected by the Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri of the house. Suri read out a pre-written note and stated that the motion was inspired at the behest of an unnamed ‘foreign power’ and therefore it is unconstitutional. Minutes after that, Imran Khan announced that he had asked the president to dissolve the assembly and called for fresh elections.
Pakistan National Assembly Deputy Speaker rejects the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan, declares it unconstitutional— ANI (@ANI) April 3, 2022
(Source: PTV Parliament) pic.twitter.com/iDuaAIGlPJ
Khan was of the opinion that the move by oppositions was a part of some foreign conspiracy to destabilize Pakistan and transfer power to corrupt individuals who would then operate on foreign commands. He, in his address later had said that the govt in Pakistan should be elected by people in a democratic process, not by foreign powers. After the non-confidence motion was dismissed, the opposition parties moved to the Supreme Court against the deputy speaker and the prime minister. The SC ruled to restore the National Assembly after it declared the government’s decision to dissolve the assembly unconstitutional.
Reportedly, the Imran Khan’s PTI party has filed review petition in Pakistan SC demanding operation of impugned order and voting on no-confidence motion be suspended. Khan has also urged his supporters to stage peaceful protests across the country when the new imported government comes into power on Sunday.