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PM Khan says he advised the president to dissolve Parliament and call for fresh elections.
Imran Khan has survived a move to oust him as Pakistan’s prime minister, getting a reprieve when the deputy speaker of Parliament blocked a no-confidence motion as unconstitutional.
Khan, whose fate was not immediately clear, later advised the country’s president to dissolve Parliament, leading to fresh political instability in the nuclear-armed country of 220 million people.
The National Assembly deputy speaker, of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, dismissed the move against Khan on Sunday, saying it went against Article 5 of the Constitution.
Pakistan’s news website Dawn.com reported that, according to Article 5, “Loyalty to the State is the basic duty of every citizen,” and “obedience to the Constitution and law is the [inviolable] obligation of every citizen wherever he may be and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan”.
“When the advice reaches the president, assemblies will be dissolved which will be followed by the process of setting up a caretaker government,” Khan said in a live speech on state-run channel PTV.
Imran Khan asks the president to dissolve assemblies and asks for elections. Calls it an international conspiracy to unseat an elected prime minister pic.twitter.com/HxbqyF2bxX
— Osama Bin Javaid (@osamabinjavaid) April 3, 2022
“We have decided to hold sit-in in the National Assembly unless voting on no-confidence motion takes place,” Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), told reporters.
“We are contacting the Supreme Court over this violation.”
Pakistan’s embattled PM was set to face the no-confidence vote on Sunday after the opposition said it had the numbers to win.
The opposition needs a simple majority of 172 votes in Pakistan’s 342-seat Parliament to unseat Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician.
Key partners in his small but key coalition, along with 17 of his own party members, have joined the opposition to remove him.
On Sunday, giant metal containers blocked roads and entrances to the capital’s diplomatic enclave, Parliament and other sensitive government installations in the capital.
More to follow