Opposition parties have criticised National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser for not calling the session to discuss the no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan within 14-days, terming the delay an unconstitutional act and high treason.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) accused the NA Speaker of abrogating the Constitution by calling the no-confidence session on March 25, three days after the 14-day deadline of March 22.
Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari alleged, “this coward captain [prime minister] is escaping from the vote of no-confidence to the extent that he has made the speaker abrogate the Constitution”.
“When the no-confidence was tabled against ex-PM Benazir Bhutto, the voting took place exactly on the seventh day,” Bilawal recalled.
Echoing the sentiment, PML-N Secretary Information Marriyum Aurangzeb said the NA speaker should be charged under Article 6. “If the speaker fails to convene the session before March 22, he would be guilty of violating the Constitution which would entail punishment under Article 6 of the Constitution,” she said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed NA speaker Asad Qaiser to take action against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) defectors. The PM reportedly told Qaiser to move the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for legal action and denotification of the dissident MNAs.
The PTI government has simultaneously sought the opinion of the Supreme Court on its interpretation of Article 63-A, which governs the disqualification of defecting lawmakers.