In a surprise move, Pakistan's embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday that he has advised President Arif Alvi to dissolve the National Assembly and call for fresh elections.
In a brief address to the nation, Khan said he has advised President Alvi to dissolve assemblies.
His announcement came minutes after National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Sur dismissed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Khan, terming it a contradiction of Article 5 of the Constitution.
Suri chaired the crucial session after opposition parties filed a no-confidence motion against Speaker Asad Qaiser.
Opposition lawmakers, who earlier appeared confident of the success of the no-trust move as they made their way to Parliament House, protested against the decision.
The Opposition parties need 172 members of the 342-member National Assembly to orchestrate the defeat of Khan and already they have claimed the support of 177 members, more than the needed strength to oust the prime minister.
Khan, who came to power in 2018 with promises to create a ‘Naya Pakistan’, is at a critical juncture of his political career as he has lost majority after defection from his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Two of his allied parties also withdrew their support and joined the ranks of the rejuvenated Opposition.