No comments, says India on Imran Khan driving Pakistan into political turmoil

Updated on Apr 07, 2022 08:15 PM IST

As Pakistan’s Supreme Court is set to rule on the legality of political manoeuvres that led Prime Minister Imran Khan to dissolve the National Assembly and call fresh elections, India said it does not speak on the internal matters of the neighbouring country

If Pakistan’s Supreme Court strikes down deputy speaker’s Sunday’s ruling, the National Assembly will be restored and the no-confidence motion carried out. (AP)
If Pakistan’s Supreme Court strikes down deputy speaker’s Sunday’s ruling, the National Assembly will be restored and the no-confidence motion carried out. (AP)

NEW DELHI: The external affairs ministry on Thursday declined to comment on the political turmoil in Pakistan arising from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sudden decision to dissolve Parliament and said it was an internal matter of the neighbouring country.

Pakistan was plunged into a constitutional crisis earlier this week when the deputy speaker of the National Assembly disallowed a vote of no confidence sought by the combined opposition and the President accepted Khan’s recommendation to dissolve Parliament and call fresh elections. Khan was set to lose the trust vote.

“This is their internal matter and I have no comments. We are watching developments but don’t comment on such internal matters,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told a media breifing. He was responding to a question on India’s response to the political developments in Pakistan.

New Delhi articulated its hands-off approach hours after Pakistan’s Supreme Court completed hearings to decide petitions that challenge National Assembly deputy speaker, Qasim Suri’s ruling to dismiss the no-confidence motion.

The five-judge bench is expected to deliver its ruling later in the evening. But in course of the hearing on Thursday, Pakistan’s Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial noted that deputy speaker Qasim Suri’s move to dismiss a no-confidence motion against embattled Imran Khan was, prima facie, a violation of Article 95 of the Constitution.

Minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan told Rajya Sabha earlier that the government’s consistent position has been that India “desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan and is committed to addressing issues, if any, bilaterally and peacefully in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence”.

In a written reply to a question about the resumption of trade ties with Pakistan, Muraleedharan said that the “onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere”.

He added the government had seen media reports stating an adviser to the Pakistan premier had backed the resumption of trade ties with India.

“In August 2019, Pakistan announced the suspension of bilateral trade with India.

Pakistan partially relaxed its ban on trade with India in September 2019 by permitting trade in certain pharmaceutical products,” he added.

Islamabad snapped trade ties in response to the Indian government’s decision to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019.

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