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

  • Pakistan’s Supreme Court hopes to conclude a hearing Thursday on a case of obstruction by Prime Minister Imran Khan of the opposition’s attempt to remove him from office, which he said was unconstitutional.
  • Khan lost his parliamentary majority last week and was on the verge of being ousted as a result of a no-confidence vote by the opposition on Sunday.
  • But the deputy speaker of parliament rejected the decision, saying it was unconstitutional and part of a foreign conspiracy. Khan then dissolved parliament.
  • The confrontation has led a country with a population of 220 million, ruled by the military for long periods since independence in 1947, into a full-blown constitutional crisis.

Here are the latest updates:

The hearing has been postponed, the verdict is expected on Thursday night

Pakistani media reported that the Supreme Court hearing was postponed and the verdict is expected to be handed down at 7:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. GMT) on Thursday.

The Supreme Court is considering repeated petitions challenging the constitutional force of the deputy speaker of parliament, who rejects a no-confidence vote passed by the opposition on April 3.


Four possible outcomes of the higher court verdict

Here are four possible outcomes of the Supreme Court ruling, expected later Thursday:

  1. The court may order the resumption of parliament and resubmit the petition.
  2. This could trigger new elections, which were sought by Imran Khan’s party.
  3. The court can remove Khan from power if it is found that he violated the constitution.
  4. He may also decide that he cannot interfere in parliamentary affairs.

The main opposition leader is appearing in court

Pakistani Muslim League leader Nawaz (PML-N) Shehbaz Sharif rises to address a panel of five judges in the Supreme Court.

“I’m not a lawyer, I’m an ordinary person,” he said, according to Geo TV. “If the vice-speaker’s decision is wrong, the parliament needs to be restored.”

Earlier, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal said that the decision of the Deputy Speaker of Parliament on April 3, which rejected the vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Imran Khan, was wrong.

“The real question is what will happen next,” the judge said.


Security tightened in Supreme Court: TV report

Pending a final verdict in the Supreme Court, security has been stepped up.

Local television Geo broadcast a video of riot police taking up positions around the courthouse. The main roads leading to the court are blocked.

The development came after Chief Judge Bandial said the court could announce its verdict on Thursday.

“God forbid we finish today,” he said.


“Where’s the Vice Speaker’s signature?”

Supreme Court Judge Jamal Khan Mandohel asks why the Vice Speaker’s decree rejecting a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan was not signed by him, according to the Dawn website.

Qasim Suri read out the ruling rejecting the opposition’s motion because National Assembly Speaker Assad Kaiser was absent. Judge Mandohel said the ruling was announced by the vice speaker, but signed by the speaker.

“Where’s the Vice Speaker’s signature?” Judge Mandochel asked.

The judge also asked about the absence of the Foreign Minister in the Chamber.

“Shouldn’t the foreign minister have been present?” He asked, forcing the lawyer to admit that the minister should have been present.

Supporters of the PTI Khan party are shouting slogans in his favor during a rally in Karachi [Shahzeb HAHZAIB AKBER (EPA)

Government lawyer on top court’s jurisdiction

Attorney General Khalid Jawad Khan tells the Supreme Court that parliamentary proceedings were not exempt from judicial review, but the limits were to be defined by the court.

Lawyer Naeem Bukhari, who is representing parliament’s speaker and deputy speaker, argued that the top court had refrained from interfering in parliamentary proceedings in the past.

He asked whether the court would have taken notice of the matter if the speaker had dismissed former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s point of order, which asked for a ruling on an alleged foreign conspiracy that Imran Khan says was linked with the opposition’s no-confidence motion.


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 absolutely 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 the 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.

INTERACTIVE_PAKISTAN PRIME MINISTERS

“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 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’

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

“It’s the fifth day that 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 the 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.



The Supreme Court hearing is coming on the fourth day

The Supreme Court is due to convene on the fourth day of Thursday at 9:30 (04:30 GMT).

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

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal said, “Let’s start early tomorrow to complete the case,” at the end of Wednesday’s hearing at which lawyers offered a rationale for Khan’s actions.

Pakistani inflation

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