Pakistan saw Imran Khan’s unceremonious exit on Saturday in a series of midnight developments as he was ousted with a no trust vote, which the critics said the ruling party had been trying to delay.
Khan, 69, is the first prime minister in Pakistan’s 75-year history to have lost the no confidence motion. He was deserted by coalition partners who blame him for a crumbling economy and failure to deliver on his campaign promises.
As many as 174 members voted in favour of the motion in the 342-member House while members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were reported to be absent during the voting.
He has been shown his way out after 3-1/2 years as leader of the nuclear-armed country of 220 million, where the military has ruled for nearly half its nearly 75-year history.
A timeline of events of Imran Khan’s exit:
November-December: It was PPP leader Khursheed Shah who first mentioned that the opposition would have enough numbers to oust Khan. A month later, PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq had hinted that the opposition was preparing for a change.
In January, Pakistan Peoples Party’s said the opposition “wants to send Khan home”. A month later, the opposition official discussed the possibilty of the motion. Shehbaz Sharif, leader of opposiiton in the Nartional Assembly, also presented the option to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan), which was Khan’s key ally.
In February, amid the buzz against Khan, MQM-P raised grave concerns about government policies. The MQM-P leader blamed government policies for the rise in fuel prices, inflation and poor economic management, according to local media.
February 11: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman announces to bring a no-confidence motion against the PM on behalf of the opposition parties.
On March 8, the opposition submitted a no-confidence motion against Imran Khan in the National Assembly Secretariat. As the Speaker was not in his office, the resolution was submitted in the Secretariat.
On March 12, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif and disgruntled Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Aleem Khan discussed the opposition’s move to dislodge PM Imran Khan in London.
On March 21, the Pakistan government filed a reference in the Supreme Court, asking it to interpret Article 63 (A) of the Constitution, which is related to disqualification of parliamentarians on grounds of defection.
Later on March 27, Imran Khan claimed the opposition no-confidence motion was part of a “foreign-funded conspiracy” hatched to oust him as PTI held a rally in Islamabad.
A day later, Shahbaz Sharif presented the no-confidence resolution.
On March 31, Pakistan National Assembly session for the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan was adjourned till April 3.
On April 3, no confidence motion against Imran Khan was rejected in the National Assembly over “security concerns”. National Assembly deputy speaker Qasim Suri had rejected the trust vote against the Imran Khan government, calling it “unconstitutional”. Imran Khan called for early elections.
On April 7, Pakistan Supreme Court ordered the restoration of the dissolved Parliament and the convening of a session on April 9 to conduct a trust vote against the premier.
On April 8, a day before the house was set to vote on the no-confidence motion, Imran Khan had accused the US of interfering in Pakistan’s politics and plotting to oust his regime through the vote. He said that will not tolerate the installation of a “foreign government” and will turn to the public for support if such a thing happens.
April 9-10, 2022: It was one of the most tumultuous days in the country’s history. The National Assembly saw Imran Khan-led government in Pakistan be ousted at midnight after he failed the no-confidence motion moved against him by the opposition, after a day-long political drama.
Pakistan’s National Assembly will meet on Monday to elect a new prime minister, according to reports.
(With ANI, Reuters, Geo TV inputs)