Pakistan: Emergency or Allowing Army to Take Charge – SC’s Options Amid Political Turmoil

As Pakistan faces a Constitutional crisis, with President Arif Alvi dissolving Parliament on Sunday after Prime Minister Imran Khan dodged the no-confidence motion, imposing an Emergency or inviting the Army to take charge till the situation is under control could be the options before the Supreme Court, said sources.

The deputy speaker of Parliament, a member of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, blocked the opposition’s no-confidence motion that Khan was expected to lose. Alvi, also from Khan’s party, approved his request to dissolve Parliament and Khan called on the nation to prepare for fresh elections.

Pakistan People’s Party secretary general Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari has moved Pakistan’s Supreme Court, alleging the deputy speaker’s act to disallow voting on the motion was a “violation of fundamental rights”. The petition termed it an “illegal act” that should be set aside.

The petition, a copy of which has been accessed by News18, names seven entities, including the speaker of the National Assembly, the deputy speaker of the house, the Prime Minister and President.

Sources said the SC has a tough task ahead and undoing the developments is not possible in a single order, as the hearing began on Sunday evening. Experts feel that Army takeover would increase support for Khan among citizens.

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Pakistan’s constitution calls for the establishment of an interim government to see the country toward elections, which are to be held within 90 days.

Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, the front-runner to replace Khan if he were removed, called the parliamentary block “nothing short of high treason”.

The opposition has been blaming Khan for failing to revive the economy and crackdown on corruption.

Khan on Saturday urged the youth of the country to stage “peaceful protests” against a “foreign conspiracy” that was “hatched to topple his government”. The US has denied all his claims.

The Supreme Court is aware of Sunday’s political developments, the chief justice’s office said. The chief justice “has taken notice of current situation. Further details will be shared soon,” a statement from his office said.

No prime minister has finished a full five-year term since Pakistan’s independence in 1947, and generals have ruled the country on several occasions.

With Agency Inputs

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