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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly on Sunday on the advice of Prime Minister Imran Khan, shortly after a no-confidence motion against the PM was rejected by deputy speaker National Assembly.

“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,” said a statement issued by President’s Secretariat. “The president shall dissolve the National Assembly if so advised by the prime minister; and the National Assembly shall, unless sooner dissolved, stand dissolved at the expiration of forty-eight hours after the prime minister has so advised,” states Article 58 of the Constitution.

In a televised address to the nation moments after the no-confidence motion against him was rejected by the deputy speaker Qasim Suri who presided over the crucial session, Prime Minister Khan said he had advised the president to dissolve the National Assembly.

Suri dismissed the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, terming it a contradiction of Article 5 of the constitution, which says loyalty to the state is the basic duty of every citizen.

He said that the no-trust motion against an elected prime minister was a “foreign funded conspiracy”, citing a “threat letter” that was received from a foreign country through Pakistan’s ambassador, asking for removal of PM Khan or “be ready to face the consequences”.

In his address, Prime Minister Imran congratulated the nation for the no-trust motion being rejected. He said the deputy speaker had “rejected the attempt of changing the regime and the foreign conspiracy”.

All actions initiated by PM, president subject to court order: SC

He said that he had been receiving messages from many people who were worried, adding that “treason” was being committed in front of the nation.

“I would like to tell my nation ‘not to be worried’. Allah almighty is watching over Pakistan,” said the PM.

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.

He claimed the “billions of rupees” that had been spent to buy the MNAs votes would be wasted and advised those who had taken money to donate it to orphanages and the poor.

“Get ready for the elections…we’ll not allow any corrupt force to decide the future of the country. After the dissolution of the assemblies, the procedure for the next elections and the caretaker set up will start,” he added.

Shortly after the address of the prime minister, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who was also holding the additional charge of law ministry, declared that the cabinet had been dissolved while PM Khan 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.

“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,” it adds.

After the no-confidence motion got rejected, a confident, calm and composed prime minister addressed his party members, and said that the “beleaguered opposition is still in fix about what happened to them”.

The prime minister, while referring to the recent meeting of an all-important meeting of National Security Council (NSC), said he had “clearly said that no-confidence motion was subject to a foreign interference”.

He said that in the NSC meeting attended by all the security chiefs, “the minutes of the meeting and conversation between Pakistan’s former US ambassador Asad Majeed and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu were released in which it was confirmed that it (no-trust motion) was a plan made from abroad in which Pakistan’s internal politics were meddled with”.

The prime minister openly stated that senior US embassy officials had also held meetings with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) dissidents, asking them about the no-confidence motion against him.

The prime minister plainly stated that after the country’s highest security body – National Security Committee (NSC) – is sure about the conspiracy, the proceedings of the National Assembly which was held to vote on the no-confidence motion against an elected prime minister becomes “irrelevant”.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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