Pakistan is on its way to a constitutional crisis or even change in government as president Dr Arif Alvi dissolved the national assembly at prime minister Imran Khan’s request, who is facing a situation of no-confidence motion against him which seems to be working.
This constitutional crisis came when more than a dozen of Khan’s own ministers and at least one coalition ally announced their support for the opposition last week.
The spokeswoman of the leading or the main opposition party known as the PML-N said they would definitely challenge the no confidence motion in the Supreme Court to remove Imran Khan from the leadership position, suggesting that Khan is no longer considered as prime minister because his government had fallen apart and he did not command a majority in parliament.
While in a speech on television, Khan told the nation to be prepare for an election, but opposition objected him by saying that he had no right to call a national vote.
It is expected by the Pakistan as well as the world media that Khan would lose the no confidence motion. The opposition needed a simple majority of 172 votes out of Pakistan’s total 342-seat Parliament to unseat Khan. Imran Khan is a cricket star turned conservative Islamic politician. Khan’s small but key coalition partners along with around 17 of his own party members have joined the opposition to oust him.
A no confindence motion loss for Khan would result in providing his opponents the opportunity to form a new government and rule until the next elections dates arrive, which are going to be held next year. The opposition could also choose to call early elections.
Pakistan’s leading opposition parties, who are trying to spread their ideologies from left to right to radically religious, and rallying for Khan’s ouster almost since he was elected in 2018.
Khan’s win has always been mired in controversy amid widespread accusations that Pakistan’s dictatorous and powerful army helped his Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (Justice) Party to an election win.
Asfandyar Mir, a senior expert from the Washington-based U.S. Institute of Peace, said that the military’s involvement in the 2018 polls undermined Khan’s legitimacy from the outset.
The opposition has also accused Khan of economic mismanagement, blaming him for rising prices and high inflation. Still, Khan’s government is credited with maintaining a foreign reserve account of $18 billion and bringing in a record $29 billion last year from overseas Pakistanis.
Khan’s anti-corruption reputation is credited with encouraging expatriate Pakistanis to send money home. His government has also received international praise for its handling of the COVID-19 crisis and implementing so-called “smart lockdowns” rather than countrywide shutdowns. As a result, several of Pakistan’s key industries, such as construction, have survived.
“The fact that it has such easy traction in Pakistan speaks to some of the damage U.S. foreign policy has done in the post 9/11 era in general and in Pakistan in particular,” said Mir. “There is a reservoir of anti-American sentiment in the country, which can be instrumentalized easily by politicians like Khan.