Friday, Jul 01, 2022

Imran Khan To Continue As Pakistan PM Until Caretaker Prime Minister Is Appointed, Says President

Supreme Court has taken cognizance of the ongoing political developments in Pakistan that has led to questions of constitutional validity.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan Twitter

Imran Khan will continue as the Prime Minister of Pakistan until the appointment of a caretaker premier, according to a notification issued by President Arif Alvi on Monday.

The announcement was shared on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, the Cabinet Secretariat issued a notification stating that Khan had "ceased to hold the office of the Prime Minister of Pakistan with immediate effect". However, under Article 94 of the Constitution, the president "may ask the Prime Minister to continue to hold office until his successor enters upon the office of Prime Minister".

President Alvi had dissolved the National Assembly on the advice of Prime Khan minutes after Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri rejected a no-confidence motion against Khan, who had effectively lost the majority in the 342-member lower house of Parliament.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, after taking a suo motu cognizance of the current political situation in the country, said that all orders and actions initiated by the prime minister and the president regarding the dissolution of the National Assembly will be subject to the Court's order as he adjourned for one day the hearing of the high-profile case.

A three-member bench held the initial hearing despite the weekend and issued notices to all the respondents, including President Alvi and NA's Deputy Speaker Suri.

The Supreme Court ordered all parties not to take any "unconstitutional" measures and adjourned the hearing until Monday.

Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the ruling given in the National Assembly by the deputy speaker for the dismissal of the no-trust motion against Prime Minister Khan was “final” and could not be challenged in any court of law.

Earlier, the Opposition had demanded the top court to intervene and Shehbaz Sharif, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, announced his party's decision to challenge the dissolution of the NA.

Ahsan Bhoon, President, Supreme Court Bar, said that the action of the prime minister and deputy speaker was against the constitution and “they should be prosecuted for treason under Article 6 of the constitution.

The crisis erupted after Suri rejected the no-confidence motion, providing Prime Minister Khan to send an advice to the president of the country to dissolve Parliament, which he could not do until any outcome of the no-confidence vote.

Leading constitutional lawyer Salman Akram Raja said that the “entire procure by the deputy speaker and the advice by the premier to dissolve the assembly was unconstitutional”.

Raja said the illegality of the ruling would also make the advice as illegal as the prime minister cannot give advice to the assembly after a no-confidence motion was presented in the parliament against him. 

With PTI inputs