ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Kan was elected out of office on Sunday morning. This was after an extremely chaotic day that saw a “no-confidence” vote in Parliament repeatedly delayed.
Khan tried to hold on to power by producing a document that showed that U.S. officials conspired against his opponents. The vote was held after a heated night with paramilitary and police troops covering the capital. 174 members decided to vote for Khan’s removal, which was two votes more than necessary.
Khan was a charismatic politician who used to be a cricket legend and was elected in 2018,. He won the support of many voters thanks to his anti-establishment rhetoric as well as his vision of building an Islamic welfare state that is centered on justice, opportunity and independence for both Pakistan’s nuclear-power and poor Muslim nation of 220 millions. But he has struggled in recent months to manage rampant inflation and foreign debt. Many of his promises for reforms and civic projects fell apart, but he still had a strong following among Pakistanis, particularly young ones. He also had political enemies and rejected military advice. The opposition slowly gained enough support to make him unfit for the office. Khan began a campaign to restore his shine. Khan held large rallies, gave speeches that elicited nationalist and religious sentiments. He even referred to his efforts as an effort between good and bad. Khan disbanded the legislature on April 3, claiming that the election was being based on an illegal foreign conspiracy. Enraged and frustrated, the opposition leaders ran to the Supreme Court demanding the court overturn Khan’s actions, claiming they were illegal and unconstitutional. The fate of Pakistan’s democracy hung in the balance for four days. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court held long hearings, and the nation anxiously waited to see if it would act.
On Wednesday, all the justices unanimously ruled that Khan’s moves were illegal and that the election must take place. Khan addressed the nation in a calm address on Friday. He said that he accepted the decision. Khan acknowledged that Khan would likely lose the election, but he called for his supporters to protest and promised to run again.
But the troubled prime minister decided to resist attempts to remove him. He defied the court’s decision and set up an institution confrontation.
On Saturday morning when Parliament was in session, Shehbaz Sharif, an opposition leader, demanded that the ballot be taken as quickly as possible. He declared that Parliament would be “writing history” and defeating an elected prime minister constitutionally.
Instead, the pro-government party members spent the entire day making long and rambling speeches to try to derail the vote. After repeated recesses, there was a long evening break to end the Ramadan fast. Khan also spoke at charity events and called for a Cabinet meeting.
He told local reporters that he wouldn’t accept any new government from outside and that he intended to present the document containing the “foreign conspiracy”.
Khan, who had previously refused to release the document, said that it was a secret diplomatic message sent by the Pakistani ambassador to Washington. He claimed that the U.S. had threatened Khan’s government at a March meeting. The U.S. State Department spokesperson said that Khan’s accusations are false. As tension rose in the capital’s darkened streets, Pakistani media reported that the Supreme Court would be open at midnight to address the crisis. Federal investigative agency placed a severe alert at all international airports, and stated that no government official was allowed to leave without authorization. After reading the secret document, the speaker of the national assembly announced his resignation to support Khan. This cleared the way to allow another official preside over this vote. Just before midnight, the count began and, by 1: 30 AM, the premier was out of office.
” “It’s an exciting day for our country,” declared Sharif, leader of the legislative opposition. He is likely to be elected interim prime minister, until the fall elections. “Now we will make Pakistan again a country grounded in the law and the Constitution.”
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, leader of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party, stood amid a sea of cheering and clapping legislators, a wide grin on his face. My message to Pakistani youth: Never give up on your dreams. He said that anything was possible. “Welcome back to the old Pakistan.”
Khan’s ouster, which ended his term in office 18 months early, was a stunning blow to an ambitious politician who suddenly joined the beleaguered ranks of Pakistan’s previous premiers — all of whom had been forced out before their terms ended. Many Pakistani observers saw it as a step forward for Pakistan’s fragile democracy.
This was the first time that a government had resigned from office since its founding in 1947,. In a carefully legalistic decision that was well-applauded, it was legally held and endorsed by the judiciary.
Pakistan’s daily Dawn newspaper, in its lead editorial Friday, said the court’s action had defeated an “egregious assault on the country’s democratic order” at a moment when “matters seemed be hurtling towards chaos.” It said Khan’s stubborn refusal to step down had “rendered Pakistan’s entire democracy a farce,” and it expressed hope that the court’s verdict would “pull the country back from the precipice.”
In his televised address Friday night, Khan bitterly denounced Pakistan’s political system as an “evil” process where votes are “bought and sold,” calling it “worse than a banana republic.” He also reiterated the explosive charges that his opponents had conspired with the U.S. government, which he has often criticized despite a long history of shared security concerns between the two countries, that began with the Cold War and was revived after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Khan changed Pakistan’s stance to China after he took office. This caused confusion in Washington. Khan refused to host U.S. military bases and welcomed the Taliban overthrow in Afghanistan last year. He also traveled to Moscow for a meeting with Vladimir Putin, the day before the invasion of Ukraine.
“I refuse to accept any imported government and will march on the streets,” Khan declared in his speech. He described himself as an activist who had fought for Pakistan’s independence and rights. “I went in with people. I’ll go out with them. “