ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on the blocking of a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan in parliament and President Arif Alvi’s subsequent dismissal of the country’s National Assembly today, Monday.
Qasim Suri, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, on Sunday threw the South Asian country into political limbo by preventing PM Khan from facing a no-confidence vote he was expected to lose. At the suggestion of the prime minister, the president then dissolved the National Assembly, allowing new elections to be held. Pakistan has subsequently had a political and constitutional crisis as a result of its actions.
After defectors from Khan’s own party and coalition partners joined the opposition and attempted to topple him from office, the dramatic scene was the latest in an ongoing disagreement between Khan and parliament. Khan claims that the campaign to destabilize his government is a foreign plot organized by the US.
In an emergency hearing on Sunday, a three-judge panel chaired by Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial and including Justices Ijazul Ahsan and Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the case.
The chief justice told a crowded courtroom on Sunday that no state official should take any “extra-constitutional” actions.
“Public order must be maintained,” Justice Bandial remarked at a 1 p.m. Monday hearing.
The deputy speaker’s dismissal of the no-trust motion without a vote, and the National Assembly’s subsequent dissolution, according to opposition parties, are both illegal. The Pakistani army has stated that it has no involvement in Khan’s actions.