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Opposition calls for arrest of Pakistani prime minister

Members of Pakistan's opposition called for the arrest of Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday after the embattled leader's allies in parliament continued to block a no-confidence vote that the country's Supreme Court had ordered to proceed, NDTV reports.

Government sources told Al Jazeera just after 10:00 p.m. local time that the vote would not take place on Saturday. Per NDTV, local news reported that a "prisoner van has reached the assembly amid speculations that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker could be arrested if the vote is not held by midnight."

Khan said Friday that he will not step down if he loses the no-confidence vote. The vote, which Khan is expected to lose after several defections within his governing coalition, was originally set for April 3 but was blocked by the deputy speaker of Pakistan's parliament, after which Khan attempted to call for new elections.

The country's Supreme Court subsequently ruled that blocking the vote was unconstitutional and ordered parliament to reconvene.

The vote was scheduled for Saturday but was delayed again by Speaker Asad Qaiser, an ally of Khan. Khan claims that he is the victim of a regime change conspiracy orchestrated by the United States to install an "imported government," a charge the U.S. denies.

According to Al Jazeera and the English-language Indian newspaper The Tribune, the chair of the Pakistan People's Party has accused Khan of seeking military intervention to keep himself in power, while PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar has called on Pakistan's army chief to "play his role" — presumably by deposing Khan — if the prime minister continues to defy the Supreme Court.  

Pakistan has fallen repeatedly under military rule since gaining independence in 1947. No prime minister has ever completed a full five-year term.