Pakistan political crisis live news: Supreme Court likely to rule | Imran Khan News

  • Pakistan’s top court hopes to wrap up on Thursday a hearing on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s obstruction of an opposition bid to remove him, which his critics say was unconstitutional.
  • Khan lost his parliamentary majority last week and was on the verge of being forced from office by a no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition on Sunday.
  • But the deputy speaker of parliament threw out the motion, ruling it was unconstitutional and part of a foreign conspiracy. Khan then dissolved parliament.
  • The standoff has thrown the country of 220 million people, ruled by the military for extended periods since independence in 1947, into a full-blown constitutional crisis.

Here are the latest updates:

Pakistani rupee falls to an all-time low

Amid the constitutional crisis, the Pakistani rupee has fallen to an all-time low of 188 rupees against the US dollar in the inter-bank market.

Analysts believe that political uncertainty following the dissolution of parliament was pushing the rupee to slide.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shehbaz Sharif accused Imran Khan of “running away after leaving a legacy of broken economy”.

“Time to right all wrongs is NOW,” Sharif tweeted.

Khan ‘sabotaged constitution on April 3’: Sharif

PML-N leader and main opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif hopes the court will announce its verdict at the earliest.

Sharif said the political uncertainty has had a huge impact on the country’s economy, accusing Khan of its “poor handling”.

“Imran Niazi is an absolute fraud,” Sharif said, adding that Khan “sabotaged the constitution on April 3”.

“If you want to save Pakistan, then you have to save the constitution and ensure free and fair elections,” he said. “I am sure the judges will protect the constitution.”

Calling opposition ‘traitors’ was a joke: ANP leader

Awami National Party (ANP) leader Mian Iftikhar says declaring opposition leaders fighting for the supremacy of the constitution as “traitors” was a joke.

“On the other hand, those who violated the constitution were still ruling the country,” he told reporters outside the Supreme Court.

“We expect a decision that would strengthen the constitution and parliament.”

Academic Ayesha Jalal on what happens next in Pakistan

“You never know with Pakistan’s politics – anything is possible. After all, it is very rare for governments in Pakistan to complete a full term. But no matter what the Supreme Court decides about the no-confidence vote, it does look set that Pakistan will be heading to an election in the next 90 days.

“It will be a bitter, bitter election – and held in the middle of Pakistan’s hot summer. Uncertainty, politicking and potential unrest could dominate the next few months.

“The danger is that Khan will not accept an election loss and take his fight to supporters in the streets. If a political crisis becomes a law-and-order issue, the army – never far away from Pakistani politics, and seemingly losing patience with Khan – might decide enough is enough and move in.

“That said, there is little appetite among the population for a military dictatorship.”

‘Taken oath to protect constitution’: Ex-foreign minister

Former Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi denies his party has taken any unconstitutional steps.

“We have taken an oath to protect the constitution,” he told reporters outside the Supreme Court.

He said parliament’s deputy speaker did not disallow the no-confidence motion but pointed towards “facts of political interference that tantamount to an effort for regime change”.

“The allegations can be probed,” he said. “In my opinion, the only solution to the current political crisis is fresh election.”

PM Khan to huddle with party leaders

Khan will chair a meeting of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party at his residence in the capital Islamabad at approximately 1pm (08:00 GMT), media reports said.

The PTI’s top leadership is meeting to devise their strategy in anticipation of a verdict by the Supreme Court.

Far-right party urges court to undo Khan’s moves

Pakistan’s far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which rose to prominence in 2017 for its support of anti-blasphemy laws, has urged the Supreme Court to undo the decisions of Khan’s government.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, the TLP said it would not allow Khan’s government to make changes to the country’s constitution.

“If the deputy speaker’s ruling is condoned, then we fear Islamic provisions of the constitution would be violated and a non-Muslim could be appointed president or prime minister through a simple ruling,” says the statement, released in Urdu.

‘Pakistan and the constitution demand justice’

Leaders of the opposition Pakistan’s Peoples Party (PPP) say they expect the top court to do justice and restore the National Assembly.

“It is the fifth day that the constitution is suspended in our country,” former deputy speaker Faisal Karim Kundi told reporters outside the Supreme Court.

“Pakistan and the constitution demand justice,” said PPP leader and Senator Sherry Rehman, who demanded that members of Khan’s cabinet be put on the Exit Control List (ECL) so they are not able to leave the country and face accountability.

Supreme Court hearing enters fourth day

The top court is due to reconvene for a fourth day on Thursday at 9:30 am (04:30 GMT).

The opposition has challenged the decision to block the no-confidence vote in the Supreme Court, which began deliberating the case on Monday.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said: “Let’s start early from tomorrow to conclude the case,” at the end of a session on Wednesday in which defense lawyers offered a justification for Khan’s actions.

Pakistan inflation


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