Following a week-long vacancy for the reprised Prime Mister of Pakistan role, the Pakistan parliament went with a more West-friendly candidate, Shehbaz Sharif, earlier today. Many Pakistani people took to the streets to protest what they felt was an un-called representation change.
Khan got asked to step down from his Prime Minister role this past Thursday in reaction to an unnamed Western country that backs Pakistan moving to oust Khan due to him having visited Moscow and met with President Vladimir Putin. Khan was in Moscow and met with Putin when Russian forces invaded Ukraine. It’s been alleged that Mr. Khan’s ouster could bring yet another round of fragility to the nuclear-armed country if Khan were not removed from power.
Before addressing his people on Thursday, Khan requested a meeting with the National Security Committee (NSC) to talk through the document depicted as “the formal communication of a senior official of a foreign country to Pakistan’s Ambassador in the said country in a formal meeting.” Upon the dismissal from that meeting, the NSC let out a statement concluding that the document amounted to “blatant interference” in Pakistan’s internal affairs.
Following the said meeting with the NSC, Khan addressed his supporters. Rather than step-down honorably as parliament directed, Khan instead took a passive-aggressive approach to his accuser. Khan did not openly name the alleged country seeking for him to lose his seat. However, he mentioned the United States before smiling and correcting it to “a foreign country.” When addressing the document that shows proof of Khan’s alleged conspiracy, he quoted it directly, emphasizing, “It (the document) says we will forgive Pakistan if Imran Khan loses this no-confidence vote. But if it fails, Pakistan will have to face a tough time.”
On Sunday, Khan faced a parliamentary no-confidence vote to force him from power. In a no-confidence vote, Khan needed to receive less than 172 votes against him, the same number of votes he required to get voted into the Prime Minister position. It was over after a 13-hour parliamentary session, including repeated delays and lengthy speeches by same-party legislators. With his political arty walking out of parliament shortly before the vote, Khan got thrown out of office.
Following the ousting of Khan and the ending of Ramadan, tens of thousands of Khan supporters marched in cities across Pakistan, waving large party flags and shouting slogans, which was widely dominated by the younger generations. Cities far and wide expressed their disdain for the parliamentary conclusion earlier in the day, with signs, lights, and chants filling the atmosphere. His removal also sparked mass resignations of MPs from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party in protest at the impending change of government. A heartfelt Khan took to Twitter to express his gratitude, “Never have such crowds come out so spontaneously and in such numbers in our history,”
Upon the removal of Khan, a vote was then held by the National Assembly to elect Shehbaz Sharif to serve until Pakistan’s five year-tenure is up in August 2023. The newly elected prime minister has an ample amount of setbacks as he walks into the office with both political and economic issues that Khan had been criticized for in the past.