Pakistan opposition to go to top court as move to oust Imran Khan blocked

Updated on Apr 03, 2022 02:12 PM IST

In a surprise move, Imran Khan said that he has advised President Arif Alvi to dissolve the National Assembly and call for fresh elections.

PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. (AP)
PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. (AP)
By | Written by Aniruddha Dhar, New Delhi

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the opposition will move the Supreme Court soon after embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday he had advised President Arif Alvi to dissolve Parliament after the national assembly's deputy speaker declined to hear a no-confidence motion against Khan.

“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,” Zardari tweeted.

In an address to the nation, Khan said he has advised President Alvi to dissolve assemblies. His announcement came minutes after National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Sur dismissed a no-confidence motion against Khan, terming it a contradiction of Article 5 of the Constitution.

Suri chaired the crucial session after opposition parties filed a no-confidence motion against Speaker Asad Qaiser.

Also Read | From no-trust vote to dissolution of Assembly: Imran Khan's 'surprise' on D-day

Opposition lawmakers, who earlier appeared confident of the success of the no-trust move as they made their way to Parliament House, protested against the decision, calling it illegal, and accused Khan of throwing the country into a constitutional crisis.

Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif told reporters the deputy speaker and Khan would be charged with treason for violating the constitution.

“We aren’t leaving the parliament,” said Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a former prime minister and lawmaker of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party. “This now test of the Supreme Court to protect the constitution and the country.”

PPP's Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar termed the government's move a "blatant violation" of the Constitution and the rules.

"The Supreme Court cannot and should not sit by as a mere spectator. The chief justice should immediately take to the bench and save the country from a constitutional crisis!"

PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz said no one could be allowed to "distort" the Constitution for the sake of saving their seat. "If this crazy fanatic is not punished for this crime, then the law of the jungle will prevail in the country after today!"

PML-N's Ahsan Iqbal said PM Imran had proven to the world that he does not possess even an "iota" of decency, grace and honour.

"Having lost the majority in National Assembly, [he] chooses to bulldoze constitution. He will be defeated with unprecedented humiliation in history," he said.

The opposition parties needed 172 members of the 342-member National Assembly to orchestrate the defeat of Khan and already it had claimed the support of 177 members, more than the needed strength to oust the prime minister.

Khan, who came to power in 2018 with promises to create a ‘Naya Pakistan’, is at a critical juncture of his political career as he has lost majority after defection from his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Two of his allied parties also withdrew their support and joined the ranks of the rejuvenated Opposition.

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