Pakistan’s top court postpones decision on no-confidence motion

Islamabad, Apr 5 (EFE).- The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday resumed hearings on the constitutionality of the parliament blocking a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government and is set to decide on Wednesday if a vote can be held to test whether Khan has majority support in the house.

“We will try to give a verdict tomorrow,” Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said during the second day of hearings to determine the legality of the no-confidence motion being blocked on Sunday.

The top court had resumed the hearing around noon, and after several hours of proceedings, postponed the session to 11.30 am on Wednesday.

The judge acknowledged that the extended trial had left put the formation of an interim government “on hold”, and said a verdict would be made as soon as possible.

As President Arif Alvi dissolved the government on Sunday at the behest of Khan, an interim government has to be formed within 15 days, with the task of holding general elections within 90 days.

However, the situation can change radically if the five-judge bench of the Supreme Court invalidates the blocking of the motion by deputy speaker of the National Assembly – the lower house of the parliament – and holds it in violation of an article of the Pakistani constitution, which states that loyalty to the State is the basic duty of every Pakistani citizen.

Responding to the “foreign conspiracy” allegations made by the prime minister against his opponents, the chief justice said that the court “cannot look into the matters of foreign or state policy” and that “it can only look at the law and the constitution.”

Khan, whose five-year term was due to end next year, has claimed that the no-confidence motion was part of a conspiracy hatched by a foreign government due to his Russian visit on the day of the Ukraine invasion.

The cricketer-turned-politician indicated, at least on two occasions, that the country behind the efforts to oust him was the United States. Washington has denied the allegations.

A close aide of the prime minister, Faisal Javed, told EFE in the court that “the people of Pakistan have decided against these traitors (the opposition),” and insisted that “the real solution of this mess is elections,” for letting the people decide who will be in power.

“It has been proven that it is a conspiracy from outside Pakistan and three (local) agents were involved in it,” Javed said.

The opposition has vehemently denied the accusations.

“I demand the army chief and the director general of the ISI (intelligence agency) to take notice of this issue and produce evidence in the Supreme Court if we have committed treason,” the leader of the opposition Shahbaz Sharif told reporters on Tuesday.

The lawyer representing the opposition Pakistan People’s Party, Shahbaz Khosa, told EFE in the court that the ruling party had “come up with an excuse” to avoid the vote on the no-confidence motion because the majority was against them.

“We hope that the rule of law is maintained and the constitution is upheld,” he said. EFE


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