Pakistan Parliament
Police officers arrive to deploy outside the Pakistan Parliament House building in Islamabad on April 9, 2022. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Pakistan’s parliament resumed its session on Saturday to vote over the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, a week after the move was blocked by the deputy speaker and later restored by the country’s top court. The Supreme Court said that Khan’s government acted unconstitutionally when it dismissed the no-trust motion without voting and later dissolved the parliament.

The parliamentary session began at 10.30am in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling on April 7. “Whatever happened is in the past now,” said the opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, who is set to become the prime minister if Imran Khan is voted out. “For God’s sake, stand up for the constitution and the law. Play the [constitutional] role of a speaker today so that your name is written in golden words in history,” he said.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said, “the verdict of the court, we will implement it in the true spirit.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan was not present in parliament. As the National Assembly session resumed after a break of more than three hours, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi continued his speech. “I am fasting. I cannot lie. The document is authentic,” Qureshi said, referring to a letter that Imran Khan alleges proves a conspiracy by the United States to remove his government. Qureshi has offered the opposition an in-camera session. “Let’s go into an in-camera session and let the ambassador of Pakistan to the US come and tell the house,” Qureshi said, adding that there had been “blatant attempts of regime change” in Pakistan.