Pakistan seems to have plunged into serious political turmoil on Sunday after President Arif Alvi dissolved the Parliament ahead of a non-confidence vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Pakistan’s National Assembly had rescheduled a non-trust vote against Imran Khan on April 3, 2022, after several coalition partners deserted him and went to the opposition camp.
However, ahead of the non-trust vote, the Speaker dismissed the motion, and the government advised the Pak President to dissolve the house and call for fresh elections.
For the unversed, Pakistan has been facing a political crisis over the last few weeks due to widespread political and economic discontent against Imran Khan’s government. A coalition of opposition parties led by former Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif sought to topple Khan’s PTI government and install Sharif as the new PM.
Shahbaz Sharif also happens to be the brother of former Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who resides at his palatial London home.
Nawaz Sharif was removed from office in 2017 over corruption charges. He was subsequently barred from holding public office for the rest of his life.
However, the Sharif clan that enjoys considerable political influence and hold on Pakistani society not survived the crisis but regrouped under the resurgent younger Sharif, as can be witnessed Today.
Notably, the ruling party led by Imran Khan blamed foreign powers and even the military establishment for conspiring to topple his government.
A few days back, he openly blamed the American diplomats for a greater conspiracy to remove him after he shared hands with the Russian President on the same day Russia launched a full-scale invasion of its western neighbor Ukraine.
Ahead of the no-trust vote on Sunday, members of the ruling PTI were heard shouting in the Pakistan Parliament, “Friends of America are traitors to their country!”
However, the US has explicitly denied that it is seeking a regime change in Pakistan. The Pak military has also declared its neutrality in the country’s political affairs.
It may be noted that no Pakistan Prime Minister so far has been able to complete his full term.
That being said, the opposition parties have already cried foul over the house’s dissolution as they were expecting a successful no-confidence vote against Khan.
“This cannot happen like that in the daylight. This is the violation, blatant violation of the country’s constitution”, said Marriyum
Aurangzeb, a spokeswoman for the PML-N, the major opposition party.
Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif also decried the government’s move.
In a tweet, he said, “Today, a man obsessed with power trampled on the Constitution. Imran Khan, who puts his ego before the country and the nation, and all the conspiratorial characters involved in this conspiracy are guilty of serious treason, to which Article 6 applies. Abuse of Pakistan and desecration of the Constitution will be taken into account”.
The opposition parties now have petitioned before the Supreme Court, challenging the legality of the house’s dissolution.
Interestingly, both Imran Khan’s PTI and opposition parties accuse each other of treason.
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