- Pakistan’s Supreme Court has again postponed its hearing on multiple petitions questioning the legal validity of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s dissolution of parliament and the calling of early elections.
- The high court has been hearing arguments from lawyers for Khan and the opposition since Monday.
- On Sunday, the deputy speaker of parliament dissolved the National Assembly to circumvent a no-confidence motion that Khan appeared to lose, triggering a constitutional crisis.
- This live blog is now closed. Thank you for joining us. Here are the updates for April 6, 2022:
Supreme Court hearing adjourned until Thursday
Pakistan’s Supreme Court has again delayed its ruling on the legality of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to dissolve parliament and call new elections.
A five-judge bench at Pakistan’s highest court is hearing multiple petitions challenging Khan’s dissolution of parliament after the deputy speaker of parliament dismissed a no-confidence motion filed by opposition parties, calling it a foreign conspiracy.
During Wednesday’s proceedings in the high court, lawyer Ali Zafar, who was representing President Arif Alvi, questioned the court’s jurisdiction to take up the opposition’s case.
Khan’s PTI accused of blocking provincial leader election
Meanwhile, there is uncertainty over whether a crucial session of the Punjab assembly to elect a new chief minister will take place.
The provincial assembly in Pakistan’s largest province was supposed to elect a new leader after the resignation of Usman Buzdar from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party.
The opposition candidate, Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, the son of the chairman of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has secured the support of most assembly members, including some PTI dissidents.
But the opposition alleges that the PTI is delaying the election by creating procedural obstacles to convening a session of the provincial assembly.
Citizens write an open letter to the President of the Supreme Court
A group of more than 100 academics, civil society representatives and citizens wrote an open letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan “to set out our grave concerns about the current political and constitutional crisis.”
“We have noted with great distress the aggressive and contemptuous manner in which the outgoing government violated Pakistan’s constitution,” the letter says.
Open letter to CJP by more than 100 concerned citizens pic.twitter.com/X28ZGZkS2N
— Hasan Zaidi (@hyzaidi) April 6, 2022
“This action has brought us to the ignominious juncture where some are once again invoking the ‘necessity doctrine’ to suspend due process and violate the fundamental right to vote based on unsubstantiated claims of alleged foreign interference in the process. politician”.
The letter stated that “the honor and well-being of our future generations rest on adherence to the constitution. “Today, we pin all our hopes on your honor to uphold the constitution and stand with the people of Pakistan in their time of need,” he said.
The president’s lawyer questions the court’s jurisdiction
Lawyer Ali Zafar, who represents Pakistani President Arif Alvi in the Supreme Court, raised objections about the court’s jurisdiction to accept the opposition’s case.
Zafar said that approaching the high court against a ruling by the deputy speaker of the National Assembly is interference in the affairs of parliament and issuing any instructions in this regard would be overstepping the bounds of the court.
The lust for power has completely paralyzed Niazi and the rest of his minions psychologically and mentally. The fact that some people in the PTI have risen up against Niazi in defense of the Constitution is positive. Let us all come together as Pakistanis to defend and protect the Constitution!
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) April 6, 2022
Khan’s lawyer tells court that new polls are the only solution
Former Justice Minister Babar Awan, who represented Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party, told the court that new elections were the only solution to the political crisis in the country.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked Awan if the deputy speaker of parliament could issue a ruling that was not on the agenda for the day by bypassing the constitution.
The high court also asked Awan about the minutes of a National Security Committee meeting that discussed a letter that Khan says shows evidence of a foreign conspiracy to oust his government.
‘Khan has no evidence to prove the accusations’
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokeswoman Marriyum Aurangzeb says Prime Minister Imran Khan had been lying to the nation about a foreign plot to overthrow his government.
“Khan has no evidence to prove his accusations,” he said.
He expressed his hope that the court’s decision would ensure that no one “would dare to repeal the constitution in the future.” “220 million people are looking at the Supreme Court,” he said.
Electoral panel asked to set election date
President Arif Alvi has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to set a date for holding new elections.
The Presidency of the Republic, through a letter, said that it was mandatory to hold elections within 90 days following the dissolution of the assembly.
On Tuesday, the ECP said it was not possible to hold elections for three months.
Journalists criticize the minister’s ‘sold out’ comment
Dozens of journalists have protested against former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry outside the Supreme Court building after he called them “sold out”.
Chaudhry refused to offer an apology for his statement, after which reporters refused to cover his news conference.
Opposition leader attacks Khan
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal has accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of “mishandling” the country’s foreign policy.
“You have severed relations with our allies and business partners,” Iqbal told reporters. “Imran Niazi, you are a disgrace.”
Iqbal said his party hoped the high court’s ruling would safeguard the supremacy of the constitution.
‘People must come out’: PM Imran Khan
Shortly before the Supreme Court hearing, embattled Prime Minister Imran Khan called on people to “come out and defend” the country.
“The people are always the strongest defenders of the sovereignty and democracy of a country. It is the people who must come out and defend themselves against this latest and greatest attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty and democracy by a foreign power through local collaborators – our Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs,” Khan tweeted.
The people are always the strongest defenders of the sovereignty and democracy of a country. It is the people who must come out and defend themselves against this latest and greatest assault on Pakistan’s sovereignty and democracy by a foreign power through local collaborators – our Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 6, 2022
Agencies say no evidence of foreign conspiracy: Reuters
Pakistan’s security agencies have found no credible evidence to confirm Khan’s claim of a foreign conspiracy, an official with knowledge of the matter told Reuters news agency, declining to be identified.
Khan and the vice president had said Pakistan’s National Security Council, a top panel that groups civilian officials as well as military and intelligence chiefs, had confirmed a plot to overthrow him.
However, the official, who is aware of such proceedings, said that the security agencies had not reached the same conclusion as Khan and had communicated their point of view to him.