Pakistan: Hearing in Supreme Court adjourned till tomorrow; President directs Election Commission to conduct elections in 90 days

Image Source: AP

A billboard with a picture of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan displays outside the National Assembly in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Highlight

  • Imran Khan alleges ‘foreign conspiracy’ to topple his government
  • He urged the people to oppose the foreign power interfering in the sovereignty of Pakistan.
  • Khan’s party PTI formed the government in the country by winning the elections in 2018.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday adjourned hearing till tomorrow on a suo motu notice on the events of April 3, when National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Shah Suri moved a no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan government and the post-NA Dissolution rejected. By President Dr. Alvi on the advice of Prime Minister.

A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandiyal and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail heard the matter later in the afternoon. After hearing the arguments, the court adjourned the hearing till Thursday.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the SC had said that the court would not interfere in matters of state and foreign policy and would only determine the validity of the deputy speaker’s decision. Chief Justice Ata Bandiyal had said that all orders and actions initiated by the Prime Minister and the President in relation to the dissolution of the National Assembly would be subject to court orders.

Notably, Khan named senior US diplomat Donald Lu as the person who was allegedly involved in a ‘foreign conspiracy’ to topple his government through a no-confidence vote introduced by the opposition. However, opposition leaders have ridiculed Khan’s allegations and the US has rejected these claims.

Meanwhile, President Arif Alvi has asked the Election Commission to start preparations for holding general elections in 90 days. The President’s direction comes a day after the Election Commission expressed its inability to hold elections in three months and said it needs at least six months to do so.

In another related development, Khan has urged the public to protest against a foreign power that is interfering in Pakistan’s sovereignty and indirectly compared opposition parties to Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq.

“People are always the strongest defenders of the sovereignty and democracy of the country. People must come forward and defend against this latest and biggest attack on the sovereignty and democracy of Pakistan by a foreign power through local allies – our Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq,” he tweeted.

Khan’s party PTI had won 155 seats in the 2018 elections. Khan became Prime Minister with the support of smaller parties.

Earlier in March 2021, Leader of the Opposition and former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani defeated Pakistan’s Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh in the Senate elections. But Khan managed to win a trust vote in the National Assembly.

Exactly a year later (in March 2022), opposition leaders moved a no-confidence motion against Khan in NA, accusing his government of failing to check inflation. Three PTI aides said they had withdrawn their support, which led to the fall of the PTI government. The term of the 342-member National Assembly was to end in August 2023.

Read more: Imran Khan paying the price for America’s disobedience: Russia

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