PTI leader says ruling party will stage Pakistan’s ‘biggest rally’ at Islamabad’s D-Chowk prior to no-trust vote
Senator Faisal Javed Khan of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday said that voting in the National Assembly on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran will take place after March 27.
“The biggest rally in Pakistan’s history will be held at D-Chowk in Islamabad on March 27, Sunday,” he said in a posting on Twitter. “Prime Minister Imran Khan will give a historic speech. The voting on the no-confidence motion will take place after March 27,” he said. “The opposition will be roundly defeated in the no-trust motion; Confidence in P.M. Imran Khan will [increase],” he added.
On March 8, the opposition submitted a no-confidence motion against the prime minister—signed by over 80 MNAs—to the National Assembly Secretariat. The same day, it submitted a requisition notice to convene a session of the National Assembly under Article 54(3) of the Constitution to take up the one-point agenda of the no-trust resolution.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser is bound to convene the Assembly session within 14 days of the opposition submitting the requisition notice, requiring him to summon it no later than March 22. Under the Constitution, voting on a no-trust motion must take place no earlier than three days, and no later than seven days, of the summoning of the session.
Prior to Javed’s announcement, Planning Minister Asad Umar—in a posting on Twitter—had also announced that P.M. Khan had decided to organize the D-Chowk rally on March 27. “The world will see how the people of Pakistan stand with their captain for their independence and sovereignty,” he added.
Earlier, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain told a local TV channel that the government had decided to stage the rally to show the opposition parties “what a real public gathering” looks like.
The government has, in the past week, suggested it would bar all PTI lawmakers from attending the vote for the no-confidence motion. Any dissidents who attend, say senior party leaders, would be “disqualified by the speaker” under Article 63A of the Constitution. Legal experts have maintained this is an incorrect reading of the law, which requires the party head to issue show-cause to any defectors before they can be barred from the National Assembly. The process also requires the speaker to submit, in writing, to the Election Commission of Pakistan that the defections violate law, with the electoral body the sole authority empowered to disqualify any lawmakers.