Pakistan’s power tussle continues after court restores parliament

Islamabad, Apr 8 (EFE).- Pakistan’s political situation remained volatile on Friday as the country awaited incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan’s next move, a day after the country’s top court set aside the government’s move to block a no-trust vote and its subsequent decision to dissolve the parliament.

Khan met members of his cabinet and leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, and was expected to deliver a speech to the nation before the parliament is summoned again on Saturday to discuss the no-confidence motion.

“Imran Khan knows how to face challenges. The opposition thinks they have won but it has not, they have lost. The captain will make an important announced in the evening. He will never disappoint his people,” tweeted Faisal Javed, a close aide to the prime minister.

Khan himself asserted in a tweet that he will “continue to fight for Pak till the last ball,” referring to his past as the captain of the Pakistan cricket team and giving rise to speculation if he would resign before the vote or make an unexpected move to remain in power.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari even went on to call the court decision a “judicial coup,” and alleged that the court ignored an alleged United States “attempt at regime change,” a theory that has been repeatedly espoused by the ruling party to discredit the opposition’s attempt to prove a majority in the house after some PTI lawmakers switched sides.

Meanwhile opposition parties hailed the decision as a victory for the country and its people.

The Supreme Court said on Thursday that deputy speaker Qasim Suri’s decision to block the no-confidence motion was “contrary to the constitution” and that Khan “could not have advised” President Arif Alvi to dissolve the parliament.

The top court wound up five days of hearing as the country plunged into a political crisis after deputy speaker Suri, a close ally of the prime minister, Sunday threw out the opposition no-confidence vote against the embattled government.

The five-member bench led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial restored the lower of the parliament and ordered the speaker to convene a session on Saturday morning for the no-confidence motion that is likely to unseat Khan.

Prime Minister Khan dissolved the parliament on Sunday and called for early elections as the government appeared to have lost the majority.

The opposition claims to have the backing of 197 members, more than 172 needed to oust the government in the 342-seat house.

Khan and his aides accused the opposition of plotting to topple his government at the behest of the US.

But the Supreme Court took a suo moto cognizance of the case. The opposition also filed petitions to examine the legality of the move.

The opposition, which has joined hands to oust Khan, had termed the dismissal of the no-confidence motion as “the worst attack on parliament.”

The court decision has limited Khan’s options since he appears to have lost the majority in the house. The parliament will elect a new prime minister if Khan loses the vote.

Khan, whose five-year term was due to end next year, has claimed that the no-confidence motion was part of US -backed conspiracy after his Russian visit on the day of the Ukraine invasion. Washington has denied the allegations. EFE


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