Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan lost the majority in the country's National Assembly on Wednesday, 30 March, as his party's primary coalition partner, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan (MQM-P) – abandoned the government and signed a deal with the Opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
This development comes just days before the no-confidence motion against Khan, which is scheduled to be tabled on 3 April.
"The united opposition and MQM have reached an agreement. Rabta committee MQM & PPP CEC will ratify said agreement. We will then share details with the media in a press conference tomorrow. Congratulations Pakistan," Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the PPP, said in a late night tweet.
The ruling coalition was down to 164 lawmakers in the National Assembly after the development, while the Opposition now has 177 members, ANI reported.
Pak PM Urges PTI Legislators to Abstain from Voting on No-Trust Vote
Meanwhile, Khan on Tuesday urged legislators from his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, to abstain from voting on the no-confidence motion brought against him, or miss the session of the National Assembly on the day the motion will be voted on in the House.
In a letter to party legislators, Khan said, "All the members of the National Assembly shall abstain from voting/not attend the meeting of the National Assembly on the date when the said resolution is set out on the agenda," per a report by Geo News.
He also asked lawmakers to adhere to his directions in "true letter and spirit," issuing a warning that any violation regarding this matter would be considered an "express defection" per Article 63 (A) of Pakistan's Constitution.
The Pakistani prime minister needs 172 votes in the 342-member House to defeat the motion against his government.
If Khan loses the motion, the tradition of a Pakistani PM never completing a full five-year term in office will continue.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)