- Pakistan’s Supreme Court is set to deliver its ruling on Thursday night that Prime Minister Imran Khan has blocked opposition offers to remove him from office, which his critics say is unconstitutional.
- Khan lost his parliamentary majority last week and was on the verge of being forced to step down due to a no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition on Sunday.
- But the vice-president of the parliament rejected the proposal and believed that it complied with the constitution and was part of a foreign conspiracy. Khan then dissolved parliament.
- The conflict has plunged 220 million people, who have been ruled by the military for a long time since independence in 1947, into a complete constitutional crisis.
Here are the latest updates:
30 minutes ago (12:33 GMT)
Opinion polls in Pakistan say new elections are not possible after 90 days
The Pakistan Electoral Commission (ECP) has responded to President Arif Alvi and said that elections could not be held after 90 days, as previously announced.
Opinion polls say it would take at least four months to complete the process of demarcating constituencies and other preparations for the election.
On Wednesday, the president had asked the ECP to propose a date for general elections in the country.
2 hours ago (10:59 GMT)
Judgment adjourned, judgment on Thursday evening
Pakistan’s chief judge has adjourned a hearing in the Supreme Court and said the verdict will be announced at 7.30pm (14:30 GMT) on Thursday.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said it had been confirmed that the ruling passed by the Speaker of the National Assembly was “wrong”. He also said the court would overturn the ruling and then see how to proceed in the future.
However, the judge indicated that the court did not intend to fix the liability and said that the court will act in the national interest and in accordance with practical possibilities.
The Supreme Court deals with a variety of requests calling for the constitutional value of the Vice-Speaker of the Althingi rejecting a no-confidence motion passed by the opposition on 3 April.
2 hours ago (10:47 GMT)
Four possible conclusions of the Supreme Court ruling
Here are four possible conclusions from the Supreme Court ruling that is expected later on Thursday:
- The court could order that the parliament be reorganized and that the proposal be resubmitted.
- It could call for new elections for Imran Khan’s party.
- The court may dismiss Khan if he is found to have violated the constitution.
- It may also decide that it may not interfere in parliamentary business.
3 hours ago (10:08 GMT)
The main leader of the opposition addresses the Supreme Court
The leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shehbaz Sharif rises to address five judges at the Supreme Court.
“I’m not a lawyer, I’m an ordinary person,” he told Geo TV. “If the Vice President’s ruling is wrong, then the parliament should be rebuilt.
Earlier, Judge Umar Ata Bandial said it was clear that the Vice President’s ruling on April 3, which dismissed a motion of censure on Prime Minister Imran Khan, was incorrect.
“The real question is what happens next,” the judge said.
3 hours ago (09:53 GMT)
Security tightened at the Supreme Court: Television report
Security has been tightened at the Supreme Court in the run-up to the important ruling.
Local Geo TV showed footage of riot police taking their place around the courthouse. Major roads leading to the court have been closed.
The development came after the Bandial chief judge said the court could deliver its verdict on Thursday.
“If God wills, we are finishing today,” he said.
4 hours ago (09:16 GMT)
‘Where’s the Vice President’s signature?’
The Supreme Court judge, Judge Jamal Khan Mandokhel, asks why the Vice President’s ruling, which dismissed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, was not signed by him, the Dawn News website reports.
The ruling, which rejected the opposition’s proposal, was read out by Qasim Suri, with Asad Qaiser, Speaker of the National Assembly, absent. Judge Mandokhel said the ruling was announced by the vice president but was signed by the president.
“Where’s the Vice President’s signature?” asked Judge Mandokhel.
The judge also questioned the Foreign Minister’s absence from the House.
“Shouldn’t the Foreign Minister be present? he asked and got the Attorney General to admit that the Minister should have been present.
4 hours ago (08:57 GMT)
Attorney General in the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
Khalid Jawad Khan, the Minister of Justice, told the Supreme Court that the proceedings of the parliament were not exempt from judicial review, but that the boundaries should be defined by the court.
Lawyer Naeem Bukhari, who is representing the Speaker and Vice-Speaker, argued that the Supreme Court had failed to intervene in the proceedings before the parliament.
He asked if the court had taken a stand on the case if the speaker had rejected the case of former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who asked for a ruling on an alleged foreign conspiracy that Imran Khan says is related to the opposition’s no-confidence motion.
6 hours ago (07:22 GMT)
The Pakistani rupee is declining to an all-time low
During the constitutional crisis, the Pakistani rupee has fallen to an all-time low of 188 rupees against the US dollar on the interbank market.
Experts believe that political uncertainty following the dissolution of parliament has pushed the rupee down.
As the dollar continues to rise, the country is facing a massive economic collapse. No wonder Niazi is fleeing after leaving a legacy of a broken economy, a constitutional crisis and political instability. Pakistan did not deserve it .. Time to correct everything is NOW!
– Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) April 7, 2022
Shehbaz Sharif, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim Alliance-Nawaz (PML-N), accused Imran Khan of “running away after leaving a legacy of a broken economy”.
“It’s time to fix everything wrong NOW,” Sharif tweeted.
Read more here.
6 hours ago (06:55 GMT)
Khan “damaged the constitution on April 3”: Sharif
PML-N leader and opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif is hoping the court will rule in the first place.
Sharif said the political uncertainty had a huge impact on the country’s economy and accused Khan of “ill-treatment”.
The value of the dollar in the interbank market has touched Rs188. Is SBP a partner in crime and is deliberately closing its eyes to the enormous treatment going on right now? Does the SBP want the rupee to hit Rs190 per dollar for the weekend? SBP must explain its position
– Shahbaz Rana (@ 81ShahbazRana) April 7, 2022
“Imran Niazi is a complete traitor,” Sharif said, adding that Khan “entertained the constitution on April 3.”
“If you want to save Pakistan, you have to save the constitution and ensure free and fair elections,” he said. “I’m sure the judges will protect the constitution.
6 hours ago (06:41 GMT)
Calling the opposition a “traitor” was a joke: ANP leader
Mian Iftikhar, leader of the Awami National Party (ANP), says it was a joke to declare opposition leaders fighting for the supremacy of the constitution a “traitor”.
“On the other hand, those who violated the constitution were still ruling the country,” he told reporters outside the Supreme Court.
“We expect a decision that would strengthen the constitution and the parliament.
7 hours ago (06:17 GMT)
Scholar Ayesha Jalal talks about what will happen next in Pakistan
“You never know about politics in Pakistan – anything is possible. After all, the Pakistani government rarely completes an entire term. But no matter what the Supreme Court decides on the no-confidence vote, it looks like Pakistan is heading for elections in the next 90 days.
“It will be a bitter, bitter election – and will be held in the middle of a hot summer in Pakistan. Uncertainty, politics, and possible unrest could prevail in the coming months.
“The danger is that Khan will not accept the loss of the election and will take his fight to the supporters on the streets. If a political crisis becomes law and order, the military – never far from Pakistani politics, and seemingly losing patience with Khan – could possibly decide that enough is enough and import.
“That being said, there is little appetite among the people for military dictatorship.
7 hours ago (05:45 GMT)
“Swear an oath to protect the constitution”: Former Foreign Minister
Former Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi denies any wrongdoing.
“We have sworn an oath to protect the constitution,” he told reporters outside the Supreme Court.
He said the Vice-President of the parliament did not reject the no-confidence motion but pointed to “the facts of political intervention which are tantamount to efforts to change the government”.
“The allegations can be investigated,” he said. “In my opinion, new elections are the only solution to the current political crisis.
Out of curiosity – is there a qualified lawyer who publicly supports the Vice President’s actions as a constitution?
– Hassan Kamal Wattoo (@ hkwattoo1) April 6, 2022
8 hours ago (05:07 GMT)
Prime Minister Khan will quarrel with party leaders
Khan will chair a meeting of his Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party at his residence in the capital, Islamabad, at around 1 p.m.
PTI’s senior leadership comes together to formulate its policy in the run-up to the Supreme Court ruling.
Senator Faisal Javed says elections will be held in three months – does he know in advance what the decision will be?
– omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) April 7, 2022
8 hours ago (05:03 GMT)
The far-right party is urging the courts to withdraw Khan’s proposals
Pakistani far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which drew attention in 2017 for its support for anti-blasphemy laws, has called on the Supreme Court to overturn the Khan government’s decisions.
In a statement issued late Wednesday, the TLP said it would not allow the Khan government to make changes to the country’s constitution.
“If the Vice President’s ruling is overturned, we fear that the Islamic provisions of the constitution will be violated and that no Muslim could be appointed president or prime minister by a simple ruling,” the statement said in a statement.
8 hours ago (04:47 GMT)
“Pakistan and the Constitution demand justice”
Leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in opposition say they expect the Supreme Court to do justice and restore parliament.
“This is the fifth day that the constitution has been postponed in our country,” former Vice President Faisal Karim Kundi told reporters outside the Supreme Court.
“Pakistan and the constitution demand justice,” said PPP leader and Senate Sherry Rehman, who demanded that members of the Khan government will be placed on the Departure Checklist (ECL) so they can not leave the country and be held accountable.
9 hours ago (04:20 GMT)
The trial in the Supreme Court begins on the fourth day
The Supreme Court is due to meet again on the fourth day on Thursday at 9:30 (04:30 GMT).
The opposition has objected to the decision to block the no-confidence vote in the Supreme Court, which began proceedings on Monday.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said: “Let’s start early tomorrow to conclude the case,” at the end of a meeting on Wednesday in which the defense presented arguments for Khan’s actions.