Pakistan has been facing a major constitutional crisis right after the deputy speaker of the parliament rejected the no-trust motion against Pakistan Prime Minister by calling it a ‘foreign conspiracy.’ On 3rd April, the National Assembly was meant to vote against the PM. However, the government thwarted their efforts citing controversial legal grounds.
Pakistan opposition leaders staged several protests in the assembly before convening their session, where 197 parliamentary lawmakers voted for the no-trust motion. But President Alvi had already gotten the parliament dissolved on the PM’s advice. The alliance of the opposition that tabled the no-trust motion in the assembly on 8th March has challenged the ruling of the deputy speaker in the Supreme Court of the country.
Pakistan political crisis: Claims of foreign conspiracy
Rejection of the no-trust motion and the parliamentary dissolution has brought the entire constitution of Pakistan into question. Early Pakistan elections have been called, though the Supreme Court can undo that presidential order. At the center of this crisis is the alleged document by Donald Lu, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, which apparently warned the envoy from Pakistan of dire consequences if Khan remained the PM.
Khan told Pakistan news that it is evident that the conspiracy has started abroad. His party has handed over a demarche to the US Embassy to tell them not to interfere in the no-trust motion and Pakistan constitutional crisis. On the other hand, America has completely denied any involvement in the domestic affairs of Pakistan. The spokesmen of the State Department have stated that there is zero truth to such allegations.
On the other hand, there are allegations that Khan is simply trying to get the public to turn against his opposition by hurling accusations on the West. Many political analysts of Pakistan believe that the anti-West platform is just the chosen sentiment of Khan’s party for the upcoming elections.
In fact, Khan went to Moscow in March and had a meeting with President Putin on the same day as Russia started its Ukraine invasion. Since that day, Khan has consistently presented himself as a strong, anti-West leader to the supporters. He claims to be the one with the guts to stand strong against the imperialists.
Effect of the constitutional crisis on democracy
Shehbaz Sharif, the leader of the opposition party, has called the move to dissolve the parliament an act of high treason. Sharif believes that Khan has made the country enter into anarchy, and such brazen and blatant violation of Pakistan constitution will not be without consequences.
Legal and political experts consider rejecting the no-trust motion of the opposition as a move that will have serious repercussions for the democratic set-up of Pakistan. The recent events in the country marked one more attempt by a leader of the country to short-circuit the process of democracy.
Imran Khan, through escaping the no-trust motion, discarded the constitutionally mandated rules while citing justifications like foreign conspiracy – and that has no evidence, as per the leaders of the opposition.