Islamabad, Apr 10 (EFE).- The government of Prime Minister Imran Khan fell early Sunday after the former captain of the national cricket team became the first prime minister in Pakistan’s history to lose a no-confidence vote in parliament.
The motion passed just before 1:00 am with the votes of 174 of the 342 members of the lower house after a frequently interrupted session that began more than 12 hours earlier.
None of the lawmakers from Khan’s PTI party participated in the vote, presided over by a senior legislator of the main opposition PML-N.
Ayaz Sadiq took charge of the session after Speaker Asad Qaiser resigned, saying that he would not be a party to what he called a foreign conspiracy to remove the premier.
Khan asserts that the United States is working with the opposition to remove him because Washington was angry about his decision to go forward with a trip to Moscow on Feb, 24, the day Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.
“Because this is a national duty and it is the Supreme Court’s decision, I will ask the panel chairman Ayaz Sadiq to run the session,” Qaiser said, referring to Thursday’s ruling ordering parliament to vote on the no-confidence motion.
Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, who had also alleged foreign meddling when he blocked the no-confidence motion on April 3, stepped down before Qaiser.
PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif, who is expected to become the next prime minister, said after the vote that the new government would not “indulge politics of revenge.”
“I don’t want to go back to the bitterness of the past. We want to forget them and move forward. We will not take revenge or do an injustice. We will not send people to jail for no reason, law and justice will take its course,” the brother of former three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said.
Khan’s thesis of a foreign conspiracy is based on a cable from Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington about ostensible threats from the US aimed at influencing parliament to oust the prime minister.
The now-former premier, who first mentioned the cable on March 27, said Friday that an unnamed US official told the Pakistani ambassador that “Pakistan will have to face consequences” if the Khan government survived the no-confidence vote.
Vowing not to accept “imported government,” Khan urged his supporters to take to the streets for peaceful protests. EFE