Who would have thought that cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan would throw a googly on the last ball of his crucial political innings... At a time when the entire opposition headed by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif, with 197 MNAs, was ready to defeat Imran Khan in the no-confidence motion in the Assembly, Imran went ahead and had the Assembly dissolved.
Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, presiding over the session of the National Assembly, called off the no-confidence motion saying, ”No foreign power shall be allowed to topple an elected government through conspiracy.”
Shortly afterwards, Imran Khan appeared on national television and said that he advised Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi to dissolve the assemblies and call for fresh elections.
View this post on Instagram
Less than an hour later, President Arif Alvi dissolved the NA under Article 58 (1) and Article 48 (1) of the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and called for fresh elections within 90 days.
An official notification was also released by the Government of Pakistan, which said that Imran Khan would no longer be the PM.
But on Sunday midnight, the President of Pakistan released a statement saying that Imran Khan would continue as the PM until a caretaker PM is elected.
Mr. Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi, shall continue as Prime Minister till the appointment of caretaker Prime Minister under Article 224 A (4) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) April 3, 2022
The opposition was furious. What could have been a game-changer for Shahbaz Sharif, turned out to be a shocker for the entire opposition.
Here is what you need to know about what is happening in Pakistan at the moment:
1. SPEAKER HAS THE DISCRETION, OBSERVES SC
Justice Muneeb Akhtar, one of the five judges, said that the speaker can reject the resolution as per the Assembly rules, Pakistani news agency Geo News reported. A five-judge bench of the Pakistan Supreme Court today took a suo motu cognisance of the constitutional crisis that was triggered after the no-confidence motion was dismissed as unconstitutional by the Deputy Speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly.
The court also expressed its frustration when PPP counsel Farooq H Naek asked for a larger bench to hear the case.
On this, CJP Umar Ata Bandial said that the bench would wrap up if the counsel didn’t have confidence in the judiciary.
The court was adjourned for the day and will resume on April 5, 2022, at 12 noon.
2. IMRAN KHAN NOMINATES FORMER CJP AS PAKISTAN CARETAKER PM
صدر مملکت کے خط کے جواب میں تحریک انصاف کور کمیٹی سے مشورے اور منظوری کے بعد وزیر اعظم عمران خان نے سابق چیف جسٹس پاکستان جسٹس گلزار احمد کا نام نگران وزیر اعظم کیلئے تجویز کیا ہے— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) April 4, 2022
Pakistan Information Minister (IM) Fawad Hussain took to Twitter to say that Imran Khan has nominated Pakistan CJ Gulzar Ahmed for the post of the caretaker Prime Minister.
Imran has also conveyed his decision to President Dr Arif Alvi.
3. IMRAN KHAN TO CONTINUE AS PM... FOR NOW
Imran Khan. Photo: Getty Images
Imran Khan will continue as the Pakistan PM under article 224A (4) of the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan till a new caretaker PM is appointed by the NA. The order was released by the President Secretariat in a press release on Sunday midnight.
However, there is no clarity on how the caretaker PM will be appointed as the NA has been dissolved.
4. PAKISTAN SUPREME COURT KEEPS AN EYE
Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial on Sunday said that all the orders and actions initiated by the PM Imran Khan and President Dr Arif Alvi are subject to the court’s order. The three-member bench was led by CJP Bandial, Jutsice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar.
In an order released later in the day, the court, however, didn’t mention anything about the status of NA. The order said that a notice would be issued to the Attorney General of Pakistan, Khalid Jawed Khan, of the constitutionality of Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri’s decision to dismiss the no-confidence motion under Article 5 of the constitution.
5. NAWAZ SHARIF’S OFFICE ATTACKED IN LONDON
The political upheaval in Pakistan is beginning to see effects outside the country too. On Sunday midnight, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s office in London was attacked by 15-20 masked men, Pakistani news agency Dunya News reported.
The attackers and activists of PML-N who were present there got into a scuffle, because of which more than three persons got injured. Police later made four arrests, which included two attackers and two PMN-L activists.
6. ARMY CLAIMS NEUTRALITY
The Pakistani Army, which is claimed to be a crucial player in Pakistani politics, denies any doing with the recent political turmoil in Pakistan. Just after the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan was dismissed by Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, Pakistan’s Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj General Baba Iftikhar, talking to Reuters, said that the Pakistani Army has nothing to do with the political process in Pakistan, Dawn reported.
7. SHAHBAZ SHARIF CALLS IT A BLACK DAY
PML-N called April 3, 2022 a 'black day' in the history of Pakistan. Shahbaz Sharif said this in a press conference, along with PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and several other opposition leaders. Sharif also lashed out at Imran Khan for imposing a civilian martial law in the country.
Sharif, who was expected to be the next Prime Minister, was furious with Imran Khan and Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri for dismissing the no-confidence motion under Article 5 of the constitution. On Sunday, Sharif had said that Article 6 which invites 'treason charges' will be imposed on Imran Khan and Qasim Suri.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had also lashed out at Imran Khan for unconstitutionally dissolving the Pakistan National Assembly. In a tweet, he said that the opposition will appeal against this decision in the Supreme Court.
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 ?? pic.twitter.com/sThqng0SI5— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) April 3, 2022
As of now, Imran Khan continues to be the PM of Pakistan.