Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan today faces the most crucial challenge of his political career as he might become the first PM to be removed through a no-trust vote. The national assembly will vote to decide his fate at 10 am (local time).
Here’s your 10-point guide to this big story:
- Mr Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party effectively lost the 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 lawmakers from the ruling party also indicated that they would cross the floor.
- The opposition says it has more than 172 votes in the 342-seat assembly, which needs a quarter of members present for a quorum.
- Calling on the people of Pakistan to protect the country’s sovereignty, Prime Minister Imran Khan last night asked the people to hit the streets on Sunday and peacefully protest against an “imported government”.
- PM Khan claimed that foreign powers are trying to topple his government and Pakistan’s lawmakers are being traded like sheep to accomplish this.
- “We got to know that US diplomats were meeting our people. Then we got to know about the entire plan,” he said, adding that he is not at the liberty to publicly release all the details owing to national security concerns.
He also slammed the country’s media, accusing it of “celebrating” the government’s fall.
- PM Khan said foreign powers want a pliable PM and that’s why they are trying to push him out. He has called the political situation an attack on the sovereignty of Pakistan. “We are 22 crore people. It is insulting that someone from outside is ordering this to 22 crore people,” he said.
- The Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a move by PM Khan to block a parliamentary vote seeking to oust him. The dismissal of the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan was “unconstitutional”, the Pakistan Supreme Court said. It reconstituted the national assembly and ordered the Speaker to call a session.
- If Mr Khan loses, he will be the first Prime Minister to be removed through a no-trust vote. The opposition could then nominate its own Prime Minister and hold power until August 2023, by which date fresh elections have to be held.
- No Prime Minister has ever seen out a full term in Pakistan since its inception.