President Dr Arif Alvi on Sunday dissolved the National Assembly on the “advice” of Prime Minister Imran Khan under Article 58 of the Constitution.
“The president of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi, has approved the advice of the prime minister of Pakistan to dissolve the National Assembly under the Article 58 (1) read with Article 48(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” according to a statement issued by the President’s Secretariat.
This major political development came shortly after National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri rejected voting on the no-confidence motion against the prime minister calling it “unconstitutional”.
An official notification dissolving the assembly has been issued.
Fresh elections will be held within a period of 90 days.
In a brief address to the nation after the no-confidence motion was rejected, the premier congratulated the nation and said that he had sent a proposal to the president to dissolve the assembly and the nation should prepare for the next elections.
Special Assistant to the PM Dr Shahbaz Gill then confirmed that the assembly has been dissolved.
PM Imran’s brief public address was telecast shortly after a crucial National Assembly session that was set to vote on the no-confidence motion against him was abruptly adjourned as the deputy speaker deemed the no-trust vote “unconstitutional”.
The premier skipped the session.
Pleased with the NA deputy speaker’s ruling, the premier congratulated the nation over the development.
“The NA speaker has rejected the move intended at changing the regime and I congratulate the entire nation on it.”
“Pakistan came into existence on 27th Ramzan, and this nation will not let such a conspiracy get successful.”
The premier said he had been receiving messages from many people who were worried, adding that “treason” was being committed in front of the nation. “I want to say, ghabrana nahi hai (do not worry). God is watching over Pakistan.”
He said he had written to the president with advice to dissolve the assemblies, adding that the democrats should go to the public and elections should be held so the people could decide who they wanted in power.
Prime Minister Imran said the “billions of rupees” that had been spent to “buy” lawmakers’ votes would be wasted and advised those who had taken money to donate it to orphanages and the poor.
“Prepare for elections. No corrupt forces will decide what the future of the country will be. When the assemblies will be dissolved, the procedure for the next elections and the caretaker government will begin,” he added.
Shortly afterwards, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the prime minister’s advice to dissolve the National Assembly had been sent to President Dr Arif Alvi under Article 58 of the Constitution.
He tweeted that PM Imran would continue in office under Article 224 of the Constitution, which is related to elections and by-elections.
According to the article, after the dissolution of the NA, the president, in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, would appoint a caretaker prime minister.
It further states: “When the National Assembly or a provincial assembly is dissolved, a general election to the assembly shall be held within a period of ninety days after the dissolution, and the results of the election shall be declared not later than fourteen days after the conclusion of the polls.”
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said new elections would be held in 90 days.
FAWAD CHAUDHRY: Earlier today, Information Minister Chaudhry, who took the floor shortly after the NA session began, said that loyalty to the state was the basic duty of every citizen under Article 5(1). He reiterated the premier’s earlier claim that a foreign conspiracy was behind the move to oust the government.
“On March 7, our official ambassador was invited to a meeting attended by the representatives of other countries. The meeting was told that a motion against PM Imran was being presented,” he said, noting that this occurred a day before the opposition formally filed the no-trust move.
“We were told that relations with Pakistan were dependent on the success of the no-confidence motion. We were told that if the motion fails, then Pakistan’s path would be very difficult. This is an operation for a regime change by a foreign government,” he alleged.
The minister questioned how this could be allowed and called on the deputy speaker to decide the constitutionality of the no-trust move.
Suri, who chaired the session after opposition parties, in a surprise move, filed a no-confidence motion against Speaker Asad Qaiser, noted that the motion was presented on March 8 and should be according to the law and the Constitution.
“No foreign power shall be allowed to topple an elected government through a conspiracy,” he said, adding that the points raised by the minister were “valid”.
He dismissed the motion, ruling that it was “contradictory” to the law, the Constitution and the rules. The session was later prorogued.