Khan, who is facing the toughest challenge of his political career, requested the country’s President dissolve Parliament and called on the nation prepare for a fresh election.
Khan had been set to lose the no confidence motion with the opposition having secured enough votes. But in a dramatic reprieve for the embattled leader, the vote was blocked as “unconstitutional” by the deputy speaker, citing Articles 5 and 6 of Pakistan’s parliament.
Article 6 states that any “attempts to suspend or hold in abeyance, the constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.”
“I want to congratulate our nation by the speaker to reject a regime change which was backed by a foreign agenda,” Khan said in an address to the nation following the blocking of the vote.
The much-delayed session to hold the no-confidence motion began with Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry stating that it was part of a “foreign conspiracy to implement regime change” in the country, describing it a “treasonous” motion.
The vote was backed by an alliance of politicians — including more than a dozen defectors from Khan’s own political party — who accused him of mismanaging the country’s economy and foreign policy.
Khan had previously appealed to defecting lawmakers to return to his party, promising they would be forgiven “like a father forgives his children.” He warned that those who voted against him would face social disgrace, saying no one would marry their children.
Khan has called on his supporters to rally in the streets of the capital, Islamabad, on Sunday in protest of the vote. Security has increased around the city, with police patrolling the streets. The city’s red zone, where government and military buildings are located, is sealed off with shipping containers.
Last week, tens of thousands of people gathered at the city’s iconic Parade Ground, chanting slogans in favor of Khan.
No leader has completed a full five-year term as Pakistan’s Prime Minister since its formation in 1947. There are now concerns Khan’s move could raise the risk of political instability in the South Asian nation.
Quoted from Various Sources
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