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Pakistan’s Political Crisis: What can happen in the coming days?

Pakistan is dealing with a political crisis at the moment. Khan suggested the President dissolve the assembly heading towtowardrly elections.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan is having a look into the action taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan, of blocking parliamentary vote against him and then calling for an election. The SCP is overviewing the legality of the action.

The no-confidence motion, which Khan was widely anticipated to lose, was thrown out by the deputy speaker of parliament, a member of Khan’s party, who ruled that it was part of a foreign conspiracy and unconstitutional.

The proceedings are adjourned until Tuesday by the five-member bench headed by the chief justice of the state. 

Legal experts say the court’s decision on Khan’s move could have far-reaching consequences for Pakistan’s democracy, where no prime minister has ever served a full term and the military has ruled for roughly half of the country’s history.

Does the court Abolish Khan’s actions?

The government’s following moves, such as dissolving the assembly and announcing elections within 90 days, might be overturned if the court rules against the motion to block the vote of no-confidence.

The lower chamber of parliament would be restored in this event, and the vote against Khan could proceed.

If Prime Minister Khan lost the vote then the opposition will nominate its own prime minister who would be in rule till August 2023, by which date the elections are expected in the country.

The opposition has also shown its interest in early elections only once prime minister Khan is defeated. The opposition also made allegations on the Khan’s government that it came to the throne only by wrongdoing in the elections, claiming that the 2018 elections were not transparent and prime minister Khan would never accept that.

The opposing forces also said that Khan is guilty of subverting the constitution and hence court ruling against him opens doors for legal actions against him. 

If the situation gets grave, Khan’s disqualification from the elections would be assured. As Pakistani has witnessed the same kind of scenarios for two of the previous prime ministers in 2012 and 2017. 

What happens if the court legitimizes Khan’s actions?

If the court rules that Khan’s actions are legal, elections will take place within 90 days.

That would be a big political victory for Khan, giving him a boost heading into the election.

Ahmad Bilal Mehboob of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) told that the National Assembly speaker’s ruling on the vote of no-confidence was not only unconstitutional but even a subversion of the constitution.

“Since everything was seemingly pre-planned, the constitutional violations

(By the government) were attempts to subvert the constitution,” he said.

“Speaker could only have held voting and it was the right to the members to either accept or reject the no-confidence motion.”

Mehboob said a court ruling that endorses the dissolution of parliament could create problems, particularly in holding fresh elections.

The actions of Khan were deemed illegal, but voting happens

The court might declare that Khan’s actions were illegal, but that because the process of organizing new elections was already started, those preparations should be carried out as planned to minimize political harm.

This does not rule out the possibility of legal action against Khan and his associates.

The court does not interfere

Whether the Supreme Court can interfere in parliamentary proceedings? The question is floating in all the media and among politicians.

In the light of the constitution, the court’s interruption is not allowed but looking back into history, this has happened particularly when constitutional matters are involved.  

If the court could stay out of the matter itself. This would mean Khan’s actions had been legitimized and Pakistan could have well-known elections within ninety days.

Proceedings move on

The Supreme court has to take immediate action, as the power vacuum may impact other key policy areas that also include negotiations with the international monetary fund (IMF) for much needed monetary support.

Currently, as Imran Khan has dissolved the cabinet, Pakistan has no government. Time till the elections take place, the government and the opposition will decide on a temporary caretaker by consensus.

If the consensus is not carried out then the process will be passed to parliamentary committees leading to an election commission and this can take rather waste ample time, which is not a favourable thing in the country’s interest.

The political tension in the country has affected the economy of Pakistan adversely. The country’s stock exchange fell Pakistan’s dollar bonds traded in the international market.

Where Military interventions may take the country 

Pakistan has witnessed three military interventions already, in the year 1958, 1977 and 1999. The military has ruled over for a total of 33 years out of 75 years of independence. In all these 33 years the country suffered from economic and political uncertainty.

In the current situation, the higher-ups of Pakistan’s military have denied any kind of involvement and also added that the military is there to protect the democracy of Pakistan.

Whatever happens, we hope that happens in the best interest of Pakistan.

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