Parliament ousts Imran Khan; he vows to fight back

April 10, 2022 - 21:22

TEHRAN — Early on Sunday, minutes after the clock hands passed 00:00, the Pakistani parliament held an extraordinary meeting for a no-confidence vote to oust Imran Khan, Pakistan’s Prime Minister.

The session ended with 174 votes out of 342 seats against Khan, which was two votes more than simple majority. 

Khan took the decision with a pinch of salt, asking his supporters to rally in the streets. Minutes after his call, supporters of Pakistan’s Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) staged a rally in front of the parliament, regardless of being late. 

On Sunday afternoon, former energy minister Hammad Azhar said that on the call of "brave" leader Khan, a peaceful protest will be held across Pakistan after the Isha prayer (one of the five mandatory Islamic prayers).

Pakistan's Express Tribune reported that all Pakistani airports were notified of the unauthorized departure of government officials after a vote of no confidence in the Parliament against Khan.

Leaders of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf party announced their decision to resign en masse from the National Assembly after the removal of Khan as Prime Minister, stressing that they will never come to terms with the next government and called for early elections in Pakistan.

According to official Pakistani sources, a meeting of senior leaders of the PTI led by Khan was held in Islamabad on Sunday and the PTI is expected to present new plans to challenge the future government of Pakistan.

The PTI has decided to resign from parliament in the first step in retaliation to move by 174 MPs voting to oust Khan. All of PTI representatives are scheduled to resign in the earliest session in the National Assembly.

In an interview with the media in Islamabad on Sunday, the PTI leaders announced the holding of a nationwide demonstration by supporters of Khan and Tehreek-e-Insaf activists in various Pakistani cities against the joint opposition front, which is currently seeking the formation of a future Pakistani government.

According to the PTI leaders, the future rulers of Pakistan have colluded with foreign agents, particularly the United States and participated in the success of the conspiracy to topple the government. 

The PTI leaders reiterated that Khan's party had never surrendered and would not allow an “externally imposed government.”

Meanwhile, the opposition party has nominated Shehbaz Sharif, brother of Nawaz Sharif, Pakistani entrepreneur and longest-serving Prime Minister of Pakistan who served for 9 years. 

Shehbaz, 70, led the opposition’s bid in parliament to topple Khan. Following Saturday’s vote of no-confidence, the younger Sharif is widely expected to succeed Khan.

He presented his candidacy for the post of Prime Minister to the secretariat of the Parliament on Sunday.

In response, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, submitted his application to the Parliament as a candidate of the PTI. 

Electing the next Prime Minister and the new speaker of the Parliament is scheduled for Monday, in the open session of the National Assembly.

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