Pakistan political crisis live news: Court hears opposition pleas

All eyes on Supreme Court as it resumes hearing arguments on whether Imran Khan had legal right to dissolve parliament and call for early polls.

  • Pakistan’s top court has resumed hearing arguments on whether Prime Minister Imran Khan and his allies had the legal right to dissolve parliament and call for early elections.
  • On Sunday, Khan’s ally and deputy parliament speaker, Qasim Suri, dissolved the National Assembly to sidestep a no-confidence vote that Khan appeared certain to lose.
  • The opposition claims the deputy speaker had no constitutional authority to throw out the no-confidence vote and claims it was a ploy by Khan to stay in power.
  • The standoff has thrown the country of 220 million people, which the military has ruled for extended periods since independence in 1947, into a full-blown constitutional crisis.

Here are the latest updates:

How Pakistan’s political crisis could play out

Legal experts say that how the Supreme Court rules on Khan’s actions could have major implications for democracy in Pakistan, where no prime minister has yet fulfilled a full term and where the military has ruled for nearly half of the country’s history.

A look at possible scenarios as the country’s top court looks into the legality of Khan’s moves.

Ex-PM: Pakistan could ‘plunge into anarchy’

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has told Al Jazeera the country’s constitution has been “blatantly violated” by Khan’s government.

“If the decisions of the Supreme Court are also violated, then the country will plunge into anarchy,” the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader said.

“We expect the Supreme Court to defend the Constitution and set the course for the future of the political system as per the provisions of the Constitution and the aspirations of the people of Pakistan.”

Elections not possible in three months: Poll panel

The Election Commission of Pakistan has expressed its inability to conduct general elections within three months, saying there are legal hitches and procedural challenges, according to a report in the Dawn newspaper.

A senior poll panel official told the English language newspaper that preparations for the general elections would require some six months.

Khan’s move ‘subversion of constitution’: Analyst

Ahmad Bilal Mehboob of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development And Transparency (PILDAT) has told Al Jazeera that the deputy speaker’s ruling on the vote of no-confidence was not only unconstitutional but also a subversion of the constitution.

“Since everything was seemingly preplanned, the constitutional violations [by the government] were attempts to subvert the constitution,” he said.

“Speaker could only have held voting and it was the right to the members to either accept or reject no-confidence motion.”

(Al Jazeera)