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President Arif Alvi approves dissolution of National Assembly on PM Imran Khan’s advice

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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly on the advice of Prime Minister Imran Khan as the PTI government evaded the no-confidence motion against the premier.

Just as the session of the National Assembly started, former law and information minister Fawad Chaudhry read out Article 5 of the Constitution and accused the Opposition of “disloyalty to the state.”

The former minister apprised the National Assembly about an “international conspiracy” to topple the democratically-elected government in Pakistan.

Fawad said in a normal situation, a no-confidence motion was moved under article 95 of the Constitution, but in this case, he requested the chair to invoke article 5(1) of the Constitution which stated “loyalty to the state is the basic duty of every citizen” while keeping in view the fact that it was being moved under an “international conspiracy”.

The minister told the house that on March 7, Pakistan’s ambassador was summoned to an official meeting by a country — which PM Imran Khan has said was the United States — with the team of note-takers and was informed that a no-trust motion would be moved against the prime minister.

On March 8, he said the motion was submitted against the prime minister to the National Assembly Secretariat.

The minister said it was unfortunate that the regime change plot was being carried out at the behest of foreign elements under a conspiracy, adding that some of the government allies and PTI members also joined the plan.

“It is not the matter of no-confidence, it is a blatant violation of Article 5(1) of the Constitution,” he said putting a question before the House on whether foreign assistance could be taken for regime change in Pakistan?

“There should be a ruling on Article 5 (1),” he requested the chair.

At this, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri termed the no-confidence motion against the premier “unconstitutional”, saying that it was backed by “foreign powers”.

The deputy speaker then quickly disallowed voting on the no-trust motion and adjourned the session for an indefinite time — inviting strong criticism from the Opposition.

Get ready for elections: PM Imran Khan

PM Imran Khan — addressing the nation shortly after the session’s adjournment — sought fresh elections and asked Pakistanis to gear up for the polls as the Opposition lashed out at the government’s act of dismissing the motion as “unconstitutional”.

PM Imran Khan’s brief public address was telecast live, where he said he was pleased with the NA deputy speaker’s ruling and congratulated the nation on the development.

“The NA speaker has rejected the move intended at changing the regime and I congratulate the entire nation on it […] Pakistan came into existence on 27th Ramzan, and this nation will not let such a conspiracy get successful.”

He said that the NA deputy speaker made the decision using his constitutional right. “In a democratic society, the democrats look towards people, elections are held, and people decide who they want as the ruler.”

The prime minister said that all the money spent on “buying loyalties” will get wasted. He told the masses that whoever has taken this money still has the chance to spend it on charity.

“No foreign power or any corrupt elements, but only you have to decide for this country.”

He said that as soon as assemblies will be dissolved, the process of a caretaker government will start.

Later, while addressing the former parliamentarians, the prime minister, who will continue to remain in office under Article 224 till the appointment of a caretaker PM, said: “I told you, people, last evening to not worry. The Opposition is still confused as to what has happened to them.”

Pakistan Army responds

In response to the political turmoil, Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar told Geo News the military has nothing to do with what happened today.

Replying to a question regarding the involvement of the Army in the political developments of the day, the DG ISPR bluntly denied any sort of involvement and said: “absolutely not”.

SC moved; Shabaz says PM committed ‘high treason’

As a result of the dissolution of the assembly, fresh elections will be held within 90 days in line with the Constitution of Pakistan. Not wasting time after the setback, the Opposition moved Supreme Court and the court itself took suo moto notice of the political crisis.

Opposition Leader in the NA and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, who was the front-runner to replace Imran Khan if he were removed, called the parliamentary block “nothing short of high treason”.

“There will be consequences for blatant & brazen violation of the Constitution,” Sharif said on Twitter, hoping the Supreme Court would play a role to uphold the Constitution.

Later, while speaking to Geo News, the Opposition leader said Imran Khan and his followers want to “distort” the face of democracy and the deputy speaker “tore apart” the constitution.

‘Ready for everything’

“Neither will he play nor let anyone else play,” Shahbaz said on the prime minister’s act of getting the no-confidence motion against him dismissed.

But the PML-N president said the top court does not rule in their favour of declaring the government’s move unconstitutional, they would gear up for elections.

Similarly, former president Asif Ali Zardari termed the NA deputy speaker’s step “unconstitutional” and now, it was up to the courts to decide on the matter.

“If they want it so bad, then we are ready for elections, we are ready for everything,” the ex-president and PPP co-chairperson told journalists at the Parliament House.

No-confidence motion against NA speaker

Before the session took place, a delegation of Opposition lawmakers submitted a no-trust motion against National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser in the NA Secretariat.

More than 100 lawmakers from the Opposition parties signed the no-confidence motion, including PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq, PPP’s Khursheed Shah and Naveed Qamar, and JUI-F’s Shahida Akhtar Ali.

“[…] the resolution for removal from office of the Speaker, Mr Asad Qaiser under paragraph © of clause (7) of Article 53 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, read with Rule 12 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, 2077,” the document read.

Opposition has its own session

But despite the deputy speaker adjourning the proceedings, the Opposition sat in the National Assembly and debated over the no-confidence motion, with ex-speaker and PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq charing the session.

Another stunt that the government pulled off was switching off the lights of the lower house of parliament, which seemed like an attempt to either disrupt their political activity or to send them out of the premises.

A total of 197 Opposition members voted in favour of the no-confidence motion.

Legal experts term move illegal

Legal experts Muneeb Farooq, Salman Akram Raja, Salaar Khan, Reema Omar, and Saroop Ijaz termed the government’s move to use Article 5 for dismissing the no-confidence motion unconstitutional.

“When a [no trust] motion has been tabled and when the attorney general has told the court that voting will go through, then this [move] seems to be a disregard of constitutional provisions,” Ijaz told Geo.tv.

Advocate Khan said to address the rather “flaccid argument”, if votes were bought or sold, the remedy is in the Constitution — disqualification of the defecting member.

“Despite what overnight constitutional experts may say, it doesn’t give you license to chuck the Constitution out the window,” the legal expert added.

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Maj. Jamal Sheeran gave his life as one of the Immortal Martyrs in defence of the homeland

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Major Jamal Sheeran Shaheed, a Balochstani, gave his life while serving to defend the homeland from terrorists’ hateful plans.

July 17, 2017, marked the acceptance of martyrdom by Major Jamal Sheeran Baloch.

In the Kech District of Balochistan, he was from Turbat Area.

The martyr’s family, as well as officers and troops from FC Balochistan and the Pakistan Army, paid tribute to the martyr’s heroic sacrifice by reciting Fatiha and laying flower wreaths.

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Entertainment

Resham replies to criticism about her charitable activity, saying, “Let Allah decide.”

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Resham addressed her haters in an interview, refuting their claims that she uses money obtained illegally to support charitable causes.

Apart from her exceptional acting abilities, Resham is also renowned for her empathy.

Her significant charitable activities are well known.

Online criticism has been directed at Resham, despite her commendable attempts to promote poor areas.

Nevertheless, she decides to keep an optimistic outlook and is unmoved by the disparaging remarks.

“People on social media say all kinds of things, like she’s making food for charity out of ill-gotten money,” the woman said in response to the criticism. “But I say, let Allah decide.”

Regardless of the doubts she faces, her steadfast faith and fortitude enable her to carry on her charitable activities.

Resham has been cooking and giving food to the underprivileged for the past 20 years on her own.

In order to underscore the duration of her dedication, she said, “This has been going on continuously for the past six years, all 12 months.”

Her declaration demonstrates her steadfast support for the less fortunate and emphasises her continuous commitment to charitable activity.

Her supporters encouraged Resham to keep doing her good deeds and expressed gratitude for her charity endeavours.

That’s the cruellest remark, someone said. Do not let such hurtful remarks get to Resham’s feelings.

You are an amazing person, and Allah will bless you for all of your good deeds.

“Your work is much appreciated. It is the people of this globe that you are considering.

Another said, “No matter what one does, people will always criticise.” Other than that, they are unemployed. Resham, you’re doing amazing. Allah is indeed more knowledgeable.

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Business

Moody’s says the IMF programme will increase Pakistan’s foreign financing.

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Moody’s, a reputable international rating agency, has stated that Pakistan’s chances of acquiring funding will increase as a result of the recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which offers dependable sources for that purpose from both friendly countries and international financial institutions.

According to a recent Moody’s analysis on Pakistan’s economy, social unrest and tensions could result from Pakistan’s ongoing inflation. The country’s economic reforms may be hampered by increased taxes and potential changes to the energy tariff, it continued.

Moody’s, on the other hand, agrees that the coalition government headed by Shehbaz Sharif of the PML-N is in danger of failing to secure an election mandate, which may potentially undermine the successful and long-lasting execution of economic reforms.

The government’s capacity to proceed with economic changes may be hampered by societal unrest and poor governance, according to Moody’s.

In order to appease the IMF by fulfilling a prerequisite for authorising a rescue package, the government raised the basic tariff on electricity, which coincided with the most recent increase in fuel prices announced on Monday. This report was released by Moody’s.

Food costs have increased in the nation, where the vast majority is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the high cost of living, following the government’s earlier presentation of a budget that included a large increase in income tax for the salaried classes and the implementation of GST on commodities like milk.

The most recent comments were made following Islamabad’s achievement of a staff-level agreement for a $7 billion contract that spans 37 months and is contingent upon final approval by the IMF Executive Board.

It states that Pakistan will need foreign financing totaling about $21 billion in 2024–2025 and $23 billion in 2025–2026, meaning that the country’s present $9.4 billion in reserves won’t be sufficient to cover its needs.

Therefore, according to Moody’s, Pakistan is in an alarming position with regard to its external debt, and the next three to five years will be extremely difficult for the formulation and implementation of policies.

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