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Day 2 of Pak political crisis in top court after Imran Khan escapes trust vote

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ISLAMABAD: APRIL. 5 – Pakistan is dealing with yet another political crisis after Imran Khan escaped a no trust motion on Sunday – which was submitted by the opposition leaders last month – following a series of dramatic events. He blamed the opposition for involvement in a “foreign conspiracy” and alleged they were trying to spend billions in attempts to topple his government.

A day after the country’s National Assembly was dissolved by President Arif Alvi, a caretaker prime minister was nominated by Khan on Monday – former chief justice Gulzar Ahmed. The Supreme Court is set to resume hearing on the rejection of the no-trust vote against Imran Khan in the parliament on Tuesday after the first day of hearing saw multiple sharp observations.

Here is a roundup of Pakistan’s political crisis:

1. “We can’t pass a decision in the air,” Pakistan’s chief justice Umar Ata Bandial was quoted as saying in multiple reports during the hearing on the first day. The top court bench of the chief justice and justices Ijazul Ahsan, Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Munib Akhtar and Jamal Khan Mandokhail took up the matter after deputy speaker Qasim Suri on Sunday refused to take up the no-confidence motion.

2. In a series of sharp remarks against the dismissal of the no-confidence vote, the Pak chief justice was quoted as saying by local media: “Does the speaker not have any option to reject the no-trust motion? Are you saying that the speaker dishonestly rejected the no-confidence motion? The speaker cannot reject the no-confidence motion even if he refers to Article 5 of the constitution.” Article 5 of Pak constitution calls for loyalty to the state.

3. Imran Khan on Monday sent a letter to the president, nominating former chief justice of Pakistan, Gulzar Ahmed, as the caretaker prime minister. “I propose the name of Justice (retd) Gulzar Ahmed, former chief justice of Pakistan to be considered for appointment as the caretaker prime minister,” he said in his letter.

4. The Pakistan president has informed the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, about the nomination. “If no response is received within the stipulated time, the appointment of caretaker prime minister will be processed in accordance with the Constitution,” the president’s office said on Twitter.

5. The opposition has accused Imran Khan of “treason” as he evaded the no-confidence motion. “It is nothing short of high treason. IK has pushed the country into anarchy. Niazi & his cohort will not be allowed to go scot-free. There will be consequences for blatant & brazen violations of the Constitution. Hope SC will play its role to uphold the Constitution, (sic)” Shehbaz Sharif said on Twitter.

6. In his latest comments, Imran Khan on Monday said: “I want this trend to end where anyone with ₹20 billion could topple the government. This is unacceptable and tantamount to discrediting democracy. The Opposition parties are afraid of the reaction of the public and avoiding the elections which they were demanding.”

7. Imran Khan had earlier alleged the involvement of the US amid mounting criticism against him. He even named a US envoy – Donald Lu. He has been blamed by his rivals for the economic crisis in the country.

8. The country has been witnessing hectic developments since Sunday. The Pak army, which was initially believed to have supported Khan when he came in power, has distanced itself from the fresh controversy.

9. While Khan has called for fresh polls, which his ministers said will be held in three months, it’s for the Supreme Court to decide if the country would see another trust vote or fresh elections.

10. It’s not new for Pakistan to see a prime minister struggling to hold his office. No Pakistan prime minister has been able to complete a full term.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI)