Imran Khan throws Pakistan into chaos with disputed election call


Prime Minister Imran Khan threw Pakistan into chaos on Sunday, calling for a new election after one of his political aides abruptly canceled a no-confidence vote in a shocking move that will be reviewed by the country’s highest court.

Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, a member of Khan’s ruling party, cited “foreign interference” in quashing the no-confidence motion moved by the opposition, saying it had the numbers to remove him and take power. . Khan then asked the President to dissolve Parliament, which was approved shortly after.

Addressing the nation on television, Khan, 69, said, “The people decide who they want in power.” “I want to ask the public to get ready for the election.”

Pakistan’s Supreme Court said it would review the no-confidence vote and the decision to dissolve parliament, although it was not clear when the matter would be heard. The government announced that Khan would remain as caretaker PM while the cabinet was dissolved.

The move threatens to cause more political upheaval in Pakistan, which has been ruled by the military for nearly half its history. Ahead of the vote, Khan alleged there was evidence of an “international conspiracy” to oust him from power, led by the US, which has denied the allegations.

Army spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar told Geo News that Pakistan’s military is “absolutely not” involved in the current political situation. He did not immediately respond to questions sent by Bloomberg.

Pakistan’s opposition parties said the cancellation of the no-confidence vote was illegal and vowed to oppose the move in court. Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif, who was set to assume power if he lost the vote, told reporters that the deputy speaker and Khan would be charged with treason for violating the Constitution.

In a sign of trouble for Khan, his deputy attorney general resigned in the wake of Sunday’s events. Raja Khalid called the deputy speaker’s decision a “gross violation” of the Constitution and said he could not defend the government on any platform.

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