Moscow Says America Is Punishing ‘Disobedient’ Pakistan PM Imran Khan
Russia has strongly condemned alleged US interference in Pakistan, terming it yet “another attempt of shameless intervention in the internal affairs of the independent state for its own narrow-minded purposes.”
“Immediately after the announcement of the working visit of Imran Khan to Moscow on February 23-24 this year, Americans and their Western allies began to pressure the [Pakistani] prime minister, demanding to cancel the trip,” Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement issued late Monday. “Further development of the situation left no doubt that the US decided to punish the ‘disobedient’ Imran Khan; a group of the legislators from the Khan-led party suddenly moved to the opposition side while a no-confidence vote was submitted to Parliament,” she continued.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly stated that the conspiracy against him was stirred and financed from abroad. We hope that Pakistani voters will be informed about these circumstances when they come to the elections, which should be held within 90 days after the dissolution of the National Assembly,” Zakharova also said.
Qasim Khan Suri, deputy speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan, on Sunday dismissed the opposition parties’ motion of no-confidence against the prime minister, saying it was the result of a foreign conspiracy and thus violated the constitutional requirement of loyalty to Pakistan.
President Arif Alvi then dissolved parliament, at Khan’s request. The opposition filed a petition in Pakistan’s Supreme Court against the decision on the same day. The constitutional crisis has riveted the country.
On Tuesday, during the hearing on the most significant case in Pakistan’s history, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that “the Supreme Court did not want to get into the investigation of policy matters as it only wanted to establish the constitutionality of the steps taken by the deputy speaker for the dismissal of the no-confidence motion and subsequent dissolution of the National Assembly.”
Bandial, chairing a five-judge panel, expressed hope that the verdict would be issued on Wednesday, adding that the case “has delayed the formation of the caretaker government.”