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PTI Chairman Imran Khan (File Photo)
PTI Chairman Imran Khan (File Photo)

Year Ender 2022: Imran Khan's ouster as Prime Minister led to political instability in Pakistan

ANI | Updated: Dec 28, 2022 11:48 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], December 28 (ANI): In recent months, political instability has been witnessed in Pakistan after PTI Chairman Imran Khan was ousted from power through a no-confidence motion. Since his ouster, Imran Khan has been carrying out mass rallies across the country demanding early elections.
This year, Pakistan witnessed a political and constitutional crisis as opposition parties filed a no-confidence motion against then-PM Imran Khan in April. It is the first time that Pakistan's PM was ousted through a no-confidence vote. Here is a timeline of the PTI Chief's ouster from power and what followed after.
Despite Pakistan's political set-up having seen the transition to a parliamentary democracy, in reality, the country's political scenario continues to be dominated by the military, according to Dawn. The differences between Imran Khan and General Bajwa started over the appointment of a successor to Lt General Faiz Hameed, the then Director General of the ISI.
Lt General Faiz Hameed, as per the news report, was perceived as someone close to former PM Imran Khan. PTI Chairman wanted to keep Hameed at the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). However, the military's own processes came in the way, as per the Dawn report.
The dispute over the ISI chief's appointment went on for weeks, with Khan telling his cabinet that "the precarious situation in Afghanistan demanded that the [then] ISI chief stay on for some time." However, the chief of army staff, who ultimately decides where his commanders get posted, did not agree to it.
As the military refused to agree to Imran Khan's wish, the former PM interviewed all the candidates nominated by General Bajwa. Finally, Lt General Nadeem Anjum was appointed as the 25th Director General of the ISI in November 2021. Imran Khan and General Bajwa also had differences over the country's foreign policy concerning ties with nations, including the United States.
The governance issues of Punjab were also of particular concern. Khan had chosen Usman Buzdar in the running for the chief minister's position in Punjab. Bajwa tried to convince Khan to choose someone else, however, PTI Chairman did not follow his advice.
The falling out between Bajwa and Khan left an opening for the opposition. As the first quarter of 2022 neared an end, it was clear that the military, led by Bajwa, had decided to not keep supporting Khan.
Meanwhile, the cricketer-turned-politician also claimed that the United States was behind a conspiracy to topple his government. Like Pakistan's Prime Ministers in the past, Khan had also fallen out of Army's favour. Even though he and his party tried their best to remain in power, they were not allowed to continue.
On March 8, the joint opposition front submitted the no-confidence motion against the then Prime Minister Imran Khan. Top leaders of opposition parties, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari, addressed a press conference where they announced that the days of the PM were numbered, according to The Express Tribune.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's then Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed confidence that the ruling party along with his coalition partners will secure victory against the opponents in the "political battle," as per The Express Tribune report.
On March 10, Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon said that the no-confidence motion submitted by the opposition against Prime Minister Imran Khan is as per the constitution.
On March 11, the Imran Khan-led government decided not to give much time to the opposition on the no-confidence vote. The federal ministers asked National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to hold a session of the lower house of parliament on this matter next week.
Pakistan's then Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on 11 March said that the opposition does not have the required numbers for passing the no-confidence motion in the National Assembly.
Speaking to the local television channel, he said that Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) and Mutahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) were backing the PTI government against the no-trust motion, according to The Express Tribune.
On March 18, the National Assembly sent a notice to all the members of the National Assembly to inform them about the no-confidence motion filed against PM Imran Khan.
The ruling PTI issued show-cause notices to dissident lawmakers for joining the opposition parties who tabled a no-confidence motion, hoping that the estranged lawmakers will return to the party.
The Pakistan National Assembly speaker summoned the session on March 25 at the request of parties who submitted a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister, according to The Express Tribune.
On March 25, the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser adjourned the proceedings till March 28 without tabling a no-confidence motion against the premier.
At a public rally in Islamabad on March 27, Imran Khan claimed that he had written proof of foreign powers' involvement in trying to topple his government through a no-confidence motion submitted by the joint opposition.
On March 30, PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif tabled the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan. Imran Khan formally barred lawmakers from the ruling PTI from attending the National Assembly session on the date of voting of the no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition.
On March 30, Imran Khan called the opposition's no-confidence motion a "huge foreign conspiracy against Pakistan." He claimed that he could not reveal the name of the country which sent the "threatening letter" as its result will not be good for Pakistan.
On April 3, Pakistan National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri blocked the voting on a no-trust motion filed against Imran Khan and adjourned the session citing foreign conspiracy. Hours later, Pakistan President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly on the advice of Khan.
On April 7, the Supreme Court of Pakistan said that the National Assembly deputy speaker's decision to dismiss the no-confidence vote and dissolution of the lower house by the President were contrary to the law and constitution. It also ordered to restore the National Assembly and hold the voting on the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan on April 9.
On April 10, Imran Khan became first prime minister of Pakistan to be ousted through a no-confidence vote. The joint opposition's no-confidence motion, which required 172 votes was backed by 174 lawmakers.
According to the court's ruling, the session of the lower house was convened at 10:30 am (local time) on April 9. National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser resigned from his post minutes before the voting started.
Voting began at 11:58 pm and the session was adjourned for four minutes as the same session cannot continue past midnight as per the rules. The session again started at 12:02 am and the voting continued with lawmakers confirming their votes by mentioning their names in register placed near one of the doors of the assembly.
Supporters and workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) took to the streets across the country to demonstrate support for the ousted PM Imran Khan.
After his removal on April 10, Imran Khan tweeted, "Pakistan became an independent state in 1947; but the freedom struggle begins again today against a foreign conspiracy of regime change. It is always the people of the country who defend their sovereignty & democracy."
Several Pakistani celebrities took to the streets to participate in the PTI protests and some even took to social media to offer support to Imran Khan. Actors including Farhan Saeed, Zara Noor Abbas, Muneeb Butt and Samina Peerzada took to social media to offer support to Imran Khan.
Actors including Syra Yousuf, Zara Noor Abbas, Muneeb Butt, Azfar Rehman, Qurutalain Balouch and Ahmed Ali Butt took part in the marches as well. On April 11, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif was elected as the 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Addressing a gathering in Mardan in May, Imran Khan warned the government that if they do not give him a date for fresh elections, "an ocean of people coming to Islamabad will blow you away."
In July, Pakistan's then Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa directed the country's commanders and other key officers, including those associated with the ISI, to stay away from politics and avoid interaction with politicians, The News International reported.

In August, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) announced a ban on broadcasting live speeches of former PM Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect.
PEMRA's action came after Khan in a public rally in Islamabad warned the IG and DIG of Islamabad police, saying that he will not spare them and register a case against them for "torturing" party leader Shahbaz Gill.
Khan spoke about Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Zeba Chaudhry for approving the request of police for the physical remand of Gill despite being aware that he was subjected to "torture."
In August, PTI announced the schedule of party chairman Imran Khan's marathon nationwide public gatherings to be held in 17 major cities across the country. According to the schedule, the PTI will hold a huge public rally in 17 cities, including Sukkur, Peshawar, Faisalabad and Gujranwala.
In September, PTI Chief Imran Khan called for early elections and stressed that it is the need of the country. Addressing the members of the Punjab Assembly and cabinet, Khan said, "Revolution is knocking on the door and it should be given way through peaceful elections," The Express Tribune reported.
On October 22, the Election Commission of Pakistan disqualified Imran Khan and ruled that he was no longer a member of the National Assembly, finding him guilty of not sharing details regarding Toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their sale during his tenure as prime minister, as per The News International report.
The ECP's decision came after the Pakistan Democratic Movement on August 4 moved the reference against the PTI Chairman Imran Khan for not sharing the details" of Toshakhana gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale.
In the written judgement, the ECP said, "As per the statement of Imran Khan he had purchased the gifts from Toshakhana paying 21.564 million rupees while the Cabinet Division said that the gifts had a value of 107.943 million," according to The Express Tribune.
After issuing the written judgement of his disqualification, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) de-notified Imran Khan as a Member of the National Assembly (MNA). The ECP declared Imran Khan's Mianwali-I seat vacant after he was disqualified in the Toshakhana (gift depository) reference.
Meanwhile, Imran Khan approached the Islamabad High Court against the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) decision to disqualify him in the Toshakhana (gift depository) reference.
On November 3, Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan sustained a bullet injury after an armed attack on his container. The incident took place during Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) 'Haqeeqi Azadi March' in Wazirabad.
Imran Khan was taken to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital (SKMCH) in Lahore for treatment. On November 6, Imran Khan was discharged from the hospital, three days after he was shot in Waziristan.
Addressing his supporters virtually on December 10, Imran Khan announced that they should continue the "Azadi March." He addressed PTI workers who relaunched the march in Wazirabad.
The march was kicked off by PTI leader and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. He was joined by other party leaders including Hammad Azhar, Faisal Javed and others.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in November sent Toshakhana (gift depository) reference to the trial court to begin criminal proceedings against Imran Khan.
A trial court took up the Toshakhana reference filed by the ECP seeking action against Imran Khan for his alleged involvement in corrupt practices. Imran Khan has denied the allegations.
In December, a court in Islamabad sent a notice to cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan finding him apparently guilty of "corrupt practices" in the Toshakhana (gift depository) case. The court summoned Imran Khan on January 9, as per The Express Tribune report.
Imran Khan has accused former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa of playing a "double game" against his government and admitted that he committed a "big mistake" by extending the tenure of then military chief in 2019.
Khan claimed that he received reports from Intelligence Bureau (IB) on "what games were being played against his government." On December 17, Imran Khan announced that he will be dissolving of the assemblies of the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab on December 23.
PTI Chairman made the announcement in a video address alongside Punjab's Chief Minister Parvez Elahi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on December 17.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan stated that he had taken the decision after speaking to his party's lawyers, and senior leadership. He further said that according to the constitution, elections cannot be delayed beyond 90 days of an assembly's dissolution.
Sharing details regarding his plan of action after dissolving assemblies, Khan said that his party will prepare for elections and they will meet National Assembly Speaker and raise demands for accepting the resignations of all PTI lawmakers.
Imran Khan stressed that Pakistan needed "fresh and fair elections" and said that the country is 'sinking'. He blamed former Pakistan army chief retired General Qamar Javed Bajwa for the ouster of his government. Khan claimed that he "foresaw the removal of his government" and was aware that some elements wanted to impose Shehbaz Sharif as the prime minister, as per The News International report.
"Ex-COAS Gen Bajwa is the only person responsible for bringing down the PTI government," The News International quoted Imran Khan as saying.
"Gen (retd) Bajwa thought the PM and Ishaq Dar are geniuses and will manage the country," he said, adding that the former army chief realised the nation's support for Khan's party after toppling the government.
Hours before Imran Khan's scheduled announcement of the dissolution date, Punjab CM Chaudhry Parvez Elahi in a tweet said, "I will support every decision of Imran Khan. Punjab Assembly is Imran Khan's trust, which has been returned to him. Imran Khan has zeroed in on the politics of the opposition. Rumourmongers will still fail as before."
Pakistan Prime Minister's son and former Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz criticized the decision of Imran Khan to dissolve the assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that the ruling coalition government will respond to Khan's every move in a "political and legal way."
On December 22, Pakistan's Punjab province Governor Balighur Rehman de-notified Chaudhry Parvez Elahi as the chief minister. Elahi filed a plea in the court challenging Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman's orders to de-notify him as the provincial chief executive.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on December 23 reinstated PML-Q leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi as the Punjab chief minister, Dawn reported.
Shortly after reinstatement, Elahi in a tweet said, "The decision to dissolve the assemblies is final, Imran Khan's decision will be fully implemented. The imported government wants to run away from the elections. We will present the imported government in the people's court and the final decision will be the people's."
Meanwhile, Imran Khan has said that former army chief (retired) Qamar Javed Bajwa had "made a deal" with Pakistan People's Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, The Express Tribune reported.
Speaking to journalists in Lahore, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said that during the past year, he found out that General (retired) Bajwa "does not want accountability."
In his remarks, Imran Khan said that the PTI-led government would have "cleaned up" the nation if a "right army chief was present." He predicted that the elections in Pakistan will be held in March or April of the coming year. (ANI)