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  4. Big blow to Imran Khan, to face no-confidence vote on April 9, rules Pakistan Supreme Court

Big blow to Imran Khan, to face no-confidence vote on April 9, rules Pakistan Supreme Court

Pakistan's Supreme Court 5-member bench heard arguments from Khan's lawyers, his opposition, and the country’s president before adjourning Thursday.

Shashwat Bhandari Written by: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: April 08, 2022 0:41 IST
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (Right)
Image Source : PTI

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (Right)

Highlights

  • Imran Khan faced a major setback after Supreme Court ordered a no-trust vote on Satuday
  • Supreme Court ruled President and Deputy Speaker's move as constitutional
  • Opposition leaders welcomed the verdict of the Supreme Court

In a big blow for caretaker Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled Deputy Speaker's decision to dismiss no-confidence motion and President's move to dissolve the national assembly as "unconstitutional". Khan will face no-trust vote on April 9, said Supreme Court.

Pakistan's apex court in its order also said that the election commission will decide on when to conduct elections.

The Supreme Court said the Prime Minister cannot ask President to dissolve the assembly since motion against PM is in pending.

A larger bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared the Deputy Speaker’s ruling unconstitutional in a unanimous judgment. The court sets aside the ruling and the steps taken after it including the dissolution of the National Assembly.

The five-member bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court heard arguments from Khan's lawyers, his opposition, and the country’s president before adjourning Thursday.

After SC's verdict, Imran Khan tweeted that he will address the nation on Friday night. | READ MORE

"I have called a cabinet meeting tomorrow as well as our parliametary party meeting & tomorrow evening I will address the nation. My message to our nation is I have always and will continue to fight for Pak till the last ball," Khan wrote in his tweet.

The opposition welcomed Supreme Court's judgement with Leader of Opposition (LoP) Shehbaz Sharif saying, "...today would be remembered in Pakistan's history in golden words. We thank Heads of all opposition parties, colleagues who joined us to speak for truth and rivals who called a spade a spade by listening to their conscience."

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in London, also reacted to the development and said, "I would like to congratulate everyone in the country. People have gotten rid of such a person who ruined the country. He made common people starve. Dollar has reached 200 today and people are frustrated with inflation in the country."

Earlier, Imran Khan dissolved Parliament on Sunday and set the stage for early elections after accusing his opposition of working with the United States to unseat him. His political opponents had arrived in Parliament with more than the 172 votes needed to oust him, after several members of his own party and a key coalition partner deserted him.

Pakistan's deputy Parliamentary Speaker, Qasim Suri, was within his rights to dismiss the no-confidence motion.

Suri dismissed the motion after Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, a close ally of Khan's, accused the opposition of being disloyal to the state by colluding with a foreign power — the United States — to stage a regime change.

Khan in his address to the nation had earlier said the Americans wanted him “personally” gone because of what he describes as his independent foreign policy, which often favors China and Russia. Khan has also been a strident critic of Washington's war on terror.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement denying the accusation.

(With inputs from AP)

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