‘Will play till the last ball,’ says Pak PM Imran Khan

Imran Khan. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed on Thursday to “play till the last ball” as the Supreme Court ordered a no-confidence motion against him on April 9 at 10 a.m. local time.

The Supreme Court overruled the decision of the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly to dismiss the no-confidence motion against the PM. The court also restored Parliament.

Khan said in a tweet that he would hold a cabinet meeting and also address the nation on Friday.

Earlier, Law Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said there were “flaws” in the Supreme Court’s decision, SAMAA News reported. He also called for an inquiry into the “foreign threat” letter that Imran Khan claimed to have received.

A five-judge bench on Thursday unanimously voted against the dissolution of the National Assembly by President Arif Alvi at the behest of Khan, who had called for early elections.

Dawn quoted Pakistan Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal as saying, “The deputy speaker delivered the verdict on April 3. The no-confidence motion was discharged on March 28. The speaker’s decision was declared unconstitutional.” The top court said that Alvi’s decision to dissolve the assembly was “illegal”.

It states that PM Imran Khan has violated Article 58 of the Constitution by asking the President to do so. NDTV reported that under Article 58, the National Assembly cannot be dissolved if there is a no-confidence vote against the government.

The petition challenging the dismissal was filed by the United Opposition on April 3.

No-confidence motion against Khan

On 3 April, the United Opposition moved a no-confidence motion against Imran Khan in the 342-member National Assembly, saying his government was responsible for the “current economic crisis in the country”. Several lawmakers from the ruling PTI switched camps ahead of polling day, leaving Khan with little support to avoid the motion.

However, on D-Day, the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Qasim Khan Suri, rejected the motion against Khan, who came to power in 2018.

Politics in Pakistan is heavily dominated by the military and remains mostly unstable. No Pakistani PM has been able to complete his five-year term.

With input from agencies