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Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan thanked the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday for its decision to reject the votes of the dissident PTI lawmakers, Aaj News reported.

“I pay tribute to our Supreme Court that saved the morale of this nation from falling,” Khan said while addressing a large public gathering in Kohat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Imran Khan also requested the apex court to take up the Sharif family’s corruption cases, saying that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other institutions had been compromised under the current setup.

His comments come hours after the top court declared that parliamentarians cannot vote against their party policy, adding that the votes of dissident lawmakers will not be counted.

The court, issuing its verdict on the presidential reference that sought its interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution, which pertains to the disqualification of lawmakers over defection, said that the "article concerned cannot be interpreted alone."

The verdict by the top court was a 3-2 split decision, with a majority of the judges not allowing lawmakers to vote against the party line in four instances outlined under Article 63-A. These four instances are the election of a prime minister and chief minister; a vote of confidence or no-confidence; a Constitution amendment bill; and a money bill.

The court further announced that the parliament should legislate to decide on the issue of disqualification of dissident lawmakers.

During his address, Khan said that no one was enjoying the predicament of the Shehbaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government more than PPP Co-chair Asif Ali Zardari who is a key stakeholder in the coalition government.

Will ‘reveal’ the name of poison ‘used’ to kill ex-FIA official Dr Rizwan: Imran

Khan said that Shehbaz Sharif only wanted to become prime minister, adding that the premier had no plan to run the country.

"Within just one month of this 'imported government', the stock market has crashed, and the dollar surged to record high," Khan said, adding that the coalition government has one way out, which is to "beg their importers for dollars."

"They have a meeting with an IMF delegation in Doha tomorrow. They will beg them for dollars, threatening them that Imran Khan will return to power if the government is not bailed out."

The PTI chief said that the PDM had come into power claiming that they will reduce inflation and increase exports, however, their so-called "experienced" government has brought the country to the verge of default.

He called on the media anchors, who used to do long TV shows on inflation during the PTI government, to go to the markets and ask people about inflation now.

"They had handed us an economically crippled country. We took tough decisions, faced the Covid-19 pandemic, improved industrial, and agricultural sectors, and put the economy back on its track, but they brought a no-confidence motion against my government to stop the progress of the country."

PTI has planned several public processions throughout the country as it looks to mobilise the masses for early elections.

Khan has vowed to bring over 2 million people to Islamabad to protest against the alleged “foreign conspiracy” to remove him from the office through a no-trust vote.

He has said the date of the march would be made public after May 20.

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