All is not well for Imran Khan as he faces an unprecedented no-confidence motion against him in the Pakistan National Assembly on 9 April.
The chess pieces were set for what seemed like a sure ouster by the country’s Opposition on 29 March, after it had collected 197 votes – 25 more than the required 172 – for winning the motion in the 342-member house.
However, Khan swiped away at the pieces with some help from Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, who dismissed the no-confidence motion, calling it “unconstitutional”, and then discontinued the session. Minutes later, Khan blindsided the Opposition again, this time advising President Arif Alvi to dissolve the National Assembly.
However, fortunes turned against Khan when the Opposition knocked Pakistani Supreme Court's doors, where a five-judge bench unanimously quashed Suri’s 3 April motion and the subsequent dissolution of the National Assembly. Giving its verdict, Pakistan’s apex court termed the decision to dissolve the Assembly as “illegal.”
With all the political turmoil leading up to the vote, the big question is: What’s next for Imran Khan if he gets ousted as PM? And does a united Opposition in Pakistan signal a consolidation in democracy?
To unpack this, we spoke to Sarral Sharma, a PhD Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University specialising in India-Pakistan relations and Gul Bukhari, Pakistani journalist and rights activist.