Home Pakistan No-trust motion: Speaker Asad Qaiser summons NA session on March 25

National Assembly of Pakistan. Photo APP/file

National Assembly (NA) Speaker Asad Qaiser has convened a crucial session of the lower house to deliberate on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan on March 25.

According to a notification, the NA session will be held at Parliament House on Friday at 11am. Sources privy to the matter said that the government has decided to convene the NA session after consultation with the officials of the NA secretariat and legal experts during a meeting at Asad Qaiser’s residence today.

The 14-day constitutional deadline to convene the NA session on the Opposition requisition will expire on March 21.

According to a statement issued by the NA secretariat, the session has been summoned on March 25 due to a two-day meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Islamabad.

Offering Fateha for deceased PTI MNA Haji Khayal Zaman has been placed on the agenda of the sitting, while continuing or adjourning the session is the discretionary power of the speaker, said the sources.

Opposition threatens NA speaker to prevent 4-day delay in voting

A day earlier, the Opposition had threatened NA Speaker Asad Qaiser that it will move against him if he did not follow the rules on Monday, aiming to prevent a delay of at least four days in the vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan, The News reported.

The threat comes as a result of the Opposition’s apprehension that the speaker would adjourn the first day of the requisitioned NA session tomorrow (March 21) after offering Fateha for deceased PTI MNA Haji Khayal Zaman.

Though it is not provided in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, adjourning the day’s meeting after saying prayers for a departed lawmaker is a parliamentary tradition.

If the tradition is followed in tomorrow’s session, which is the first day of the requisitioned sitting, the deadline for voting will fall on March 31 as there will be no sessions for at least three days, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, as these days have been declared holidays due to the OIC conference.

On the very first day of the session, the opposition will try to seek the leave of the House to table the no-trust motion and move it on the same day.

Then, a voting period of not less than three days and not more than seven days will begin from March 21. The opposition’s effort is to get the resolution moved on Monday so that such a period begins from that day. In such a case, the last day of the voting will be March 28.

Rule 37 says the leave to move the resolution will be asked for after questions, if any, and before other business entered in the Orders of the Day is taken up [on the first day of the requisition session]. When the resolution is moved, the speaker may, after considering the state of business, allot a day or days for the discussion on the motion.

The resolution will not be voted upon before the expiry of three days or later than seven days from the day on which it is moved in the National Assembly, which will not be prorogued until the motion is disposed of or, if leave is granted, the resolution has been voted upon.

The rule disallows the speaker to prorogue the requisitioned session unless the no-confidence motion has been dealt with.

Opposition submits no-trust motion against PM

On March 8, the Opposition had submitted the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly Secretariat.

A total of 86 lawmakers from the Opposition parties had signed the no-confidence motion, sources had said. JUI-F’s Shahida Akhtar Ali, PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Saad Rafique and PPP’s Naveed Qamar and Shazia Marri had submitted the no-trust motion and requisition for a session to the NA Secretariat.

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