Pakistan: Imran Khan loses SC battle; no-trust vote on Saturday
The no-confidence vote against Pakistani PM Imran Khan will now take place on Saturday after the country's Supreme Court on Thursday termed its dismissal by the Deputy Speaker "unconstitutional" and reconstituted the National Assembly. The court also ruled out a review petition and ordered the Speaker to call a session. The ruling came after the Opposition challenged the no-trust motion's dismissal in the SC.
Why does this story matter?
On Sunday, the no-trust motion against Khan's government was dismissed by the National Assembly's Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, saying the motion was against the Constitution and rules of Pakistan. Minutes later, Khan advised President Arif Alvi to dissolve the Assembly and called for fresh elections. However, according to Pakistan's Constitution, the National Assembly cannot be dissolved if there's a no-trust motion against the government.
Khan likely to lose no-trust vote
Khan has already lost the majority in the lower house of Parliament after his government's coalition partner Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) withdrew its support. With the SC clearing the way for the no-trust vote, Khan might be Pakistan's first PM to be removed through a no-trust vote, if he loses. Two other former PMs—against whom a no-confidence motion was called—had resigned before the vote.
Opposition hails SC ruling
Meanwhile, Opposition leaders hailed the SC's verdict. "Democracy is the best revenge! Jiya Bhutto! Jiya Awam! Pakistan Zindabad," tweeted Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, leader of Pakistan People's Party. "Mubarak to all who supported, defended & campaigned for the supremacy of the Constitution. Today, politics of lies, deceit & allegations has been buried. People of Pakistan have won!" tweeted LoP Shahbaz Sharif, ex-PM Nawaz Sharif's brother.
Pakistan Army distances itself from ongoing political turmoil
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Army has implied that it is maintaining a distance from the ongoing political turmoil in the country. It maintained that it has "absolutely nothing" to do with Pakistan's prevailing political situation. Notably, Pakistan has spent over three decades under the army's rule and there have been as many as four coups since it got independence in 1947.
Khan alleges involvement of 'foreign' power
Separately, PM Khan had earlier alleged that the ongoing turmoil is a result of a "conspiracy" by foreign powers against his government. Khan accused the United States of engineering the conspiracy as he would not take the side of the US and Europe on global issues involving Russia and China. The Opposition, he further alleged, was conspiring with the US to remove him.