The Political Conundrum: PTI vs PDM

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There you have it. It is destiny some say, of the seat, of the appointment. It seems cursed and the curse has not yet been broken. 75 years to this country and to date, not a single Prime Minister has been able to complete a term. The curse of the fourth year they say. Rational people may also feel there is some truth in this superstition, why else has it always happened that a Prime Minister has been ousted before the completion of a term. But this was different. This was the first time in the history of Pakistan, that a sitting Prime Minister, was ousted because the National Assembly lost confidence in him. Thus, a vote of no confidence succeeded in expelling the Prime Minister of Pakistan. 

It didn’t come as easily as a by-passer would think. It shouldn’t either, because then again it is the ‘Prime Minister’, the constitutional head of the government of Pakistan, the designated “Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic” whose expulsion is at hand. Taking it back, it all started on 8th of March 2022 when the representatives of the opposition parties in Pakistan filed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly of Pakistan, as well as a requisition to convene a meeting of the Assembly.

Delaying tactics and postponements by PTI. In a race to secure the majority of 172 votes, they needed to win the no-confidence movement. Their coalitions were broken, and MQM was now part of the opposition. Not only this but their very own party members disserted them and joined the cause of the opposition. Day in and day out, the opposition in waiting, the government in disarray, finally the day came. 3rd April 2022, the day of voting.

The motion was put up to the Speaker of the National Assembly. The speaker, citing international conspiracy, under Article 5 of the constitution of Pakistan, dismissed the motion. Every person in the country was stunned. If this wasn’t enough, now the Prime Minister had his powers back. This was immediately followed by the Prime Ministers’ recommendation to the President to dissolve the National Assembly and so it was done. A trump card in their hands, finding loopholes in the constitution for their victory, it seemed that PTI had triumphed. They called for elections to be held within 90 days, but the question one might ask is, what international conspiracy? 

He waved the letter up in the air as if to not only show it to the people, but to bear God as its witness, and plead to Him, to see the conspiracy to help the country in its time of need. In one of the largest ever political rallies held, Imran Khan waved the letter said to be proof of an international conspiracy. This isn’t the first time the United States had meddled in Pakistan’s affairs. But the first time the premier of the country had taken such a strong stand against them. “Absolutely Not”, these were his words, which did not settle well with the United States at all. They were not used to having a leader, who wouldn’t even grant bases for their drones. Something they had kept for the past twenty years. How could they stand such arrogance in front of them? A world superpower being denied something it wanted, that too by a third world country? Well, “Absolutely Not”, is what they would think as well.

The contents of that letter were proof that the US is looking for a regime change. Rather, particularly, the change of a particular person. They weren’t happy with the recent alignment of Pakistan with Russia, and the arrogance, well there was no way they would want this Prime Minister to continue. But It was obvious what was going to happen, the opposition denied any such happening. Deception, they would call it. An attempt to run away from the reality, that the National Assembly had lost confidence in the Prime Minister. 

If the plot had not thickened so much until now, the Supreme Court of Pakistan intervened to see if the decision taken by the Speaker of the Assembly was in fact legal or not. PTIs trump card taken away from them, the opposition in cheers, the matter in hand: Was the constitution violated? 

The judgment passed by the supreme court; the move was unconstitutional; thus it does not take into effect. Further actions after it were thus null and void as well. Just like that, the national assembly was restored, and the vote of no confidence was to take place on the 9th of April and not a minute after. 

9th of April, the National Assembly session starts. One speech after the other, the people in government exclaim that a foreign conspiracy is in the works, while the opposition speaks of how the constitution was violated. At this point, there were no rights and wrongs. The constitution was violated, the Supreme Court made a verdict on it, and there seems to be a conspiracy in the works too. What would be the course of action, the whole country sat to watch. Everyone glued to their screens since morning, speech after speech, waiting in anticipation of what was to happen.

Even though the agenda for the day was voting, in the political scenario of Pakistan, no one trusts the inevitable. There is more suspense and drama than in a Netflix series, so everyone watched patiently what was to happen on this day. 

The clock strikes 8 pm, everyone was exhumed by the hectic day and constant concentration, all eyes were on the Speaker of the National Assembly. Time goes by, and news comes in that the Islamabad High Court is going to open, for it handles the proceedings of the Supreme Court. Shortly after, news comes in that the Supreme Court will open at 12 am. It was as if they were weighing in on the Speaker to get on with the proceedings, which up till that part of the night, did not take place. As the grim reaper watches over a person, patiently waiting for the clock to strike 12, the Supreme Court it seemed, was doing exactly the same. 

The Prime Minister held an emergency session with the cabinet, and News broke in that the classification of the ‘letter’, had been downgraded. This was to be shown to the National Assembly Speaker, and the Chief Justice of Pakistan. Suddenly the FIA passed orders that no government official can travel abroad, every airport in the country was notified. Such a stir seemed to mean only one thing, maybe the boots were about to walk in. 

Police outside the National Assembly, prisoner vans stationed outside, VVIP cars moving in and out, the country fixated on the happenings, the time is 11:45pm, just 15 minutes before the deadline as the Supreme Court watched. What next?

The Speaker of the National Assembly resigned citing the letter and viewing it as authentic. All the PTI members leave, and a new Speaker took charge, that of PML(N). The voting finally started 2 minutes before 12. 

The new day started with the recitation of the Quran, the singing of the National Anthem and then, the continuation of the voting. 174 votes were casted, a clear majority to oust the Premier of the country. Prime Minister Imran Khan, voted out of his appointment, the opposition forming the government and the government automatically in opposition. The dust settles.

One thing was clear from all the events that preceded this day. The opposition was never going to let anyone get away with making an unconstitutional move. Some of the people in these parties had seen their forefathers fight and die for it. They would never let anyone play with the constitution of Pakistan. Another thing that was made clear was that Imran khan will never give up without a fight to the end, he may make questionable decisions, but he will always fight till the last ball. The dust doesn’t settle long enough in Pakistan, the country watches, what next?

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Shaafay Zia
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