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Lahore
Thursday, May 19, 2022
EditorialBack to square, unfortunately

Back to square, unfortunately

All eyes are on the Supreme Court now. No doubt, the country is in chaos and in the 90s like situation when dissolution of the assemblies became an order of the day. Prime Minister Imran Khan is responsible for the ongoing anarchy – political and constitutional -, which engulfed the country after he sought the dissolution of the National Assembly and announced a fresh election in the country. He had all the powers to do so before a no-confidence motion was filed against him. It is an open secret that he had lost the support of his allies and some two dozen of his own MNAs in the House. He has lost the moral authority to occupy the Prime Minister’s House after his non-sportsmanship acts in the face of the no-confidence motion filed against him. The no-confidence motion is a legal procedure, and more than that, it is a safety valve that protects the transition of faces in assemblies. The joint opposition exercised its right to seek the replacement of the government, but the prime minister’s much-hyped ‘surprised’ trampled the no-confidence motion process under the cover of Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri’s ‘undemocratic’ ruling citing ‘foreign interference’ in rejecting the motion brought by the opposition. Within hours of the deputy speaker’s ruling and prime minister’s advice, President Dr Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly under Article 58 of the Constitution. In a short-televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Imran asked his supporters to get ready for new elections and urged the dissidents to donate the ‘billions of rupees’ they had received from foreign hands to orphanages and the poor. The optics to demolish the no-confidence motion in the National Assembly are dangerous for the country. Law-cum-Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry justified the rejection of the no-confidence motion that a foreign country had plotted the scheme to overthrow the government of Imran Khan. The country, behind the alleged scheme, is no other than the US.

The National Security Council has also validated the plot, which was conveyed to the government through our ambassador in the US. For over a week, the prime minister has been creating a nationalist zeal among his supporter that he has become the target of a US plot. Stepping forward, the Foreign Office handed down a strongly-worded demarche to the US embassy in Pakistan, regardless of its diplomatic consequences. There are only a few buyers of the prime minister’s claims that his government is being toppled under a ‘foreign-funded conspiracy’. The whole conspiracy stands on a ‘threat letter’. The threat letter should have been dealt with through diplomatic means. The prime minister resorted to ‘if I cannot play, would not let others play, which forced the opposition to move to the Supreme Court. The court has refused to issue a stay order. A similar deadlock persists in the Punjab Assembly too where a fresh election for the chief minister is in limbo. The coming days are important, and the nation expects that both sides would accept the decision of the Supreme Court. It is unfortunate that the top court has been forced to decide the matters, which should have been decided in the parliament.

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