Pakistan’s Prime Minister Dissolves Parliament
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is a controversial figure in the country’s political turmoil. Pakistan has for years had trouble developing a stable and mature democracy primarily due to what many see as “opportunistic party-switching.” The Prime Minister’s opponents tried to oust him from power with a vote of no confidence, but he outmaneuvered them by dissolving Parliament. He claims that he wants to prepare for new elections.
Khan’s opposition leaders accused him of treason and threatened to go to the Supreme Court to demand that the vote be held as planned, but the court took no action. Khan, a former cricket star, won office in 2018 after campaigning to reform a corrupt political system. Corruption still seems to reign in the political arena. It is difficult to distinguish “the good guys from the bad guys.” Khan even blamed the United States for trying to remove him from office. He claimed that Washington would be happier with new leaders in the country. The State Department said there is “no truth” in the accusation. Khan’s government is much closer now to China, its most important economic and political ally.
In the past, the military has had a history of interfering with domestic politics in Pakistan, but this time they responded by saying that they would stay out of the crisis. Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar on television said, “The army has nothing to do with what happened today. What happened today was a purely political process.” He added that the army “stands with the law and the constitution.” It appears that the current army leaders want to remain neutral. Dawn newspaper columnist Zahid Hussain claimed that this fiasco “is the latest episode in Pakistan’s political soap opera.” Malik Ahmed Hussain, a member of Parliament from Khan’s party said, “We are isolated. People are suffering from high prices and no one cares. This government is just a tale of failures.”