Pakistan’s National Assembly dissolved at PM’s request

Imran Khan (Twitter)

Imran Khan (Twitter)

By Nasir Aijaz
The AsiaN Representative

ISLAMABAD: The President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi, has approved the advice of the Prime Minister to dissolve the National Assembly under the Article 58 (1) read with Article 48(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, says a brief official announcement posted on the Federal government’s Press Information Department on Sunday.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had sent advice to president to dissolve country’s parliament and hold fresh elections to escape the No-Trust Motion, which the Combined Opposition had moved against him in the assembly.

The combined opposition, led by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), had submitted the no-confidence motion against Khan on March 8, contending that the prime minister has lost the trust of the majority of lawmakers.

The No-Trust Motion tabled on Sunday morning however was rejected by the Deputy Speaker terming it in contradiction with the Constitution.

Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri

Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri

Qasim Suri, the Deputy Speaker, ruled that the opposition’s motion is “in contravention of the constitution” as a “foreign power” is behind this move. Therefore, he ruled, the voting on the no-trust motion cannot be held.

Soon after the session began, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who also held additional portfolio of law minister, rose to his seat and sought deputy speaker’s ruling over “constitutional authenticity” of the opposition’s no-trust motion.

Accepting Chaudhry’s contention, Suri “rejected” the motion terming it against rules and regulations of the Assembly, and the constitution.

Terming the rejection of No-Trust Motion and prime minister’s move “unconstitutional,” Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif said both Imran Khan and the Deputy Speaker would be tried for “high treason.”

The two, according to him, have acted against the constitution. He said the opposition is approaching the Supreme Court against Khan’s “unconstitutional” act.

Soon after the rejection of No-Trust Motion, Imran Khan in his brief televised address, Imran Khan said, “I congratulate the whole nation for this victory. The deputy speaker has rejected the opposition’s no-trust motion against the government, which was at the behest of the foreign power.”

“I have sent advice to the president to dissolve the assemblies and call for fresh elections,” he said.

A few days back he had alleged that certain foreign powers were behind the No-Trust Move. He had also showed a so-called ‘Threatening Letter’ sent to him allegedly by U.S., in a public meeting, which the opposition parties said was fake.

The Combined Opposition had launched a movement against the Prime Minister Imran Khan since his coming into power in August 2018, and had accused him of rigging the polls with the patronage of Army establishment. Since then he was named as ‘Selected Prime Minister’. During the three and half a year, the opposition had held rallies and staged sit-ins. The last rally from Karachi to capital Islamabad, covering distance of 1500km, was organized by Pakistan Peoples’ Party.

As the pressure build up for dislodging the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek Insaf government, he is said to have asked for safe passage to him instead of removing him through No-Trust Motion.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar, Director General, Inter Services Public Relations, a public relation section of Army, denied any sort of involvement of Army in political development that took place on Sunday.

“Let the people decide who they want in power. It’s not the authority of the foreign power to decide that,” he added.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Information Farrukh Habib said on Twitter that according to the country’s constitution, new elections would be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assembly.

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