The threat of political unrest in the nuclear-armed nation is mounting as the opposition seeks to oust Khan in a vote that could come this month.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government will petition Pakistan’s Supreme Court to rule on whether defectors from his party could lose their seats before a vote of no confidence is voted against him, his interior minister said Friday. .

The threat of political unrest in the nuclear-armed nation is mounting as the opposition seeks to oust Khan in a vote that could come this month.
Several Khan lawmakers withdrew their support for him on Thursday, raising uncertainty over whether the former cricketer can stay in power, following a warning from a key ally that the prime minister could lose his coalition partners.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad told a news conference that it had been decided to request the Supreme Court’s ruling on the defectors’ eligibility to vote after switching sides.

Ahmad said the decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Khan. He did not say when the petition would be filed.

“I want to ask all of you to come back… We wouldn’t do anything against you,” he said in an appeal to the dissidents.
The dissidents will be fined for the show, Khan’s minister Asad Umar said.

Under Pakistan’s floor-breaking law, MPs who defect can lose their seat if they choose to vote against their party, but what Khan’s government is trying to see is whether that applies before they vote.

“You know that murder alone is not a crime, attempted murder is also a crime,” the minister said.

The opposition accuses Khan of mismanaging the country, the economy and foreign policy. No Pakistani prime minister has ever completed his term in office.
Without the coalition partners and the dissidents, Khan’s party, which has 155 seats in the lower house, would not have enough of the 172 it needs to stay in power. The joint opposition has a strength of almost 163 in the House of Representatives.

The opposition and political analysts say Khan has feuded with the powerful Pakistani military, whose support they see as crucial for any political party to rise to power as the former upstart cricketers’ party did four years ago.
Khan and the military deny the allegation.


This post Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan asks for court ruling on apostasy ahead of no-confidence vote was original published at “https://www.financialexpress.com/world-news/pakistan-pm-imran-khan-to-seek-court-ruling-over-defections-ahead-of-no-confidence-vote/2464978/”

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