Pakistan’s premier de-notified following dissolution of Parliament

By Aamir Latif


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA): Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was de-notified on Sunday as a result of the dissolution of the country’s parliament, which he recommended to the president, according to an official announcement.

Khan will, however, continue to serve as acting premier until a caretaker prime minister is appointed to hold fresh elections, the Cabinet Division announced in a notification.

Earlier on Sunday, President Arif Alvi dissolved the lower house of the Parliament — the National Assembly — on the Khan’s advice, triggering a constitutional crisis.

The notification said Khan and his Cabinet had been de-notified, with immediate effect.​​​​​​​

Picking a caretaker

According to the Pakistani Constitution, the new elections will be held under a caretaker prime minister in the next 90 days after dissolution of the Parliament, Karachi-based legal expert Ismat Mehdi told Anadolu Agency.

Khan and the leader of the country’s opposition will jointly pick the caretaker premier, he said, explaining that the government and opposition will propose three candidates each, with one to be picked for the post.

However, if the two sides cannot agree on a name, the matter will go to a parliamentary committee, which comprises of Treasury and opposition lawmakers, and remains functional despite the assembly’s dissolution.

If the parliamentary committee also cannot reach a consensus, the Election Commission of Pakistan will do the job.

If all fail, then the country’s Supreme Court will eventually appoint the caretaker prime minister.

Until the appointment of the caretaker premier, the incumbent prime minister will continue to serve.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s top court blocked the political parties and state institutions from taking any “unconstitutional step” following the ongoing political crisis in the country.

The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing until Monday to take up petitions filed by opposition leaders against the dissolution of National Assembly.

Parliament’s dissolution

Earlier, in an unexpected move, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he has sent advice to the president to dissolve the country’s parliament, and call fresh elections.

The move came minutes after the deputy speaker of the parliament “rejected” a no-trust motion against the prime minister, terming it “unconstitutional” and “at the behest of foreign power”, a reference to the US.

The combined opposition, led by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), had submitted the no-confidence motion against Khan on March 8, contending that the prime minister has lost the trust of the majority of lawmakers.

Khan, for his part, accused Washington of hatching a “conspiracy” to topple his government with the help of Pakistan’s opposition, because of his “independent foreign policy.”​​​​​​​

[Photo: Supporters of Prime Minister Imran Khan march towards National Assembly (lower house of parliament), in Islamabad on April 03, 2022. Photographer: Muhammad Reza/AA]

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