Pakistan plunges into political crisis once again as PM Imran dissolves his govt

ISLAMABAD – Former prime minister Imran Khan has been disqualified in Toshakhana case.–Photo courtesy Dr Shahbaz Gill (Twitter)

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has once again landed into a constitutional and political crisis as opposition political parties have refused to accept National Assembly speaker’s ruling on the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

As the united opposition had filed a no-confidence motion against the Pakistani prime minister, the parliament was scheduled to vote on it on Sunday (today).

As the National Assembly session started on Sunday morning, Federal Law Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain opened debate on the no-confidence motion and described it in violation of the constitution of Pakistan.

He said the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister of Pakistan was sponsored by a foreign power, which wanted to change the regime in Pakistan. He asked the National Assembly speaker to declare the no-confidence motion null and void.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, who was presiding over the critical session in place of Speaker Asad Qaiser, declared the no-confidence motion null and void and prorogued the session indefinitely.

Reacting to the development, opposition leaders like Shehbaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari declared the National Assembly speaker’s act unconstitutional and announced they would move the Supreme Court of Pakistan against it. They also announced they would stage a sit-in on the floor of the National Assembly against this “unconstitutional act” of the speaker.

Soon after the National Assembly speaker dismissed the no-confidence motion against the prime minister, Imran Khan appeared on the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) and addressed the nation briefly. He congratulated the nation on “failure” of the no-confidence motion against him and said he had advised the president of Pakistan to dissolve the assemblies. He asked the nation to prepare for the fresh elections.

In the ensuing hours, President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly of Pakistan.

The President of Pakistan shared through its official Twitter handle @PresOfPakistan, “The President of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi, has approved the advice of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to dissolve the National Assembly under the Article 58 (1) read with Article 48(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

Shehbaz took to Twitter to denounce this move of the ruling party. He wrote, “It is nothing short of a high treason. IK has pushed the country into anarchy. Niazi & his cohort will not be allowed to go scot-free. There will be consequences for blatant & brazen violation of the Constitution. Hope SC will play it’s role to uphold the Constitution.”

Other opposition leaders also condemned the government’s move to dismiss the no-confidence motion as unconstitutional.

Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government violated the constitution. He wrote on Twitter, “Government has violated constitution. did not allow voting on no confidence motion. The united opposition is not leaving parliament. Our lawyers are on their way to Supreme Court. We call on ALL institutions to protect, uphold, defend & implement the constitution of Pakistan.”

As the united opposition and the PTI stick to their guns on the matter of the no-confidence motion, it is the Supreme Court of Pakistan that is going to decide what will happen next.

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