Islamabad: Imran Khan will continue to serve as the Pakistan Prime Minister till a caretaker premier is not appointed under Article 224-A(4) of the country’s Constitution, according to a notification issued by President Dr Arif Alvi ‘s office, Dawn reported on Monday.
Article 224(A) of the Pakistan constitution deals with the procedure of the appointment of the caretaker prime minister in case the leader of the house and leader of the opposition do not agree on the name of a caretaker prime minister.
Article 224(A) states: “The incumbent Prime Minister and the incumbent Chief Minister shall continue to hold office till appointment of the care-taker Prime Minister and the care-taker Chief Minister, as the case may be.”
Earlier in the day, the Cabinet Secretariat said that Imran Khan had “ceased to hold the office of the prime minister of Pakistan with immediate effect”.
However, under Article 94 of the Constitution, the president “may ask the Prime Minister to continue to hold office until his successor enters upon the office of Prime Minister”.
The development came after the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri disallowed the no-trust vote against PM Imran on Sunday when he ruled it to be part of a “foreign conspiracy” and in violation of Article 5 of the Constitution, which demands loyalty to the state.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Chairman and Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUIF) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman slammed Imran Khan and said the Pakistan PM even surpassed the military dictators to wrap up the democratic system in the country.
Talking to a private TV channel on Sunday, he was quoted as saying by The News International that the self-fabricated letter with claims of being despatched by a foreign country containing threats was an attempt to flee from accountability.
“Was it the change Imran Khan telling the nation about?” he questioned.
The PDM chief declared rejection of the no-trust motion as unconstitutional. “They came into power via unconstitutional means and are now using unconstitutional tactics instead of facing defeat,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
In another development, a former American official has accused Imran Khan of playing the ‘US Card’ to further his political ambitions at home ahead of the electoral showdown, Express Tribune reported on Tuesday.
Lisa Curtis, who served in both the Bush and Trump presidencies and is now a senior fellow at the Centre for a New American Security, said that the Prime Minister was simply using the “US card” to build up his support base.
Curtis said that it was “highly unlikely that any US official would get involved in Pakistan’s internal politics”, accusing Imran Khan of needlessly dragging the United States into his country’s internal politics to further his own political ends.
She further added that the Biden administration has been trying to work with Pakistan on various issues including the situation in Afghanistan and “there is absolutely no reason for the US to seek a regime change in Pakistan now or ever”.
Khan has been claiming that the no-confidence motion moved by the opposition parties in the National Assembly is part of a “foreign-funded plot” being hatched to oust his government.
India Blooms News Service