The Stream

What does Imran Khan’s removal mean for Pakistan?

On Tuesday, April 12 at 19:30 GMT:
Pakistan’s newly elected prime minister Shehbaz Sharif says a new government must repair the country’s battered economy, following the removal of his predecessor Imran Khan in a historic parliamentary vote.

Sharif was elected by parliament on Monday, a day after Khan lost a no-confidence vote that he had tried to block by dissolving the assembly. The country’s Supreme Court had earlier ruled that Khan’s move was unconstitutional.

While Sharif could count on the support of 174 lawmakers in the 342-assembly, every member of Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) resigned from the assembly just before Monday’s vote. Khan had asserted that the opposition’s bid to unseat him was part of a foreign-backed conspiracy. Opposition lawmakers have repeatedly denied those allegations.

The opposition’s move against Khan followed a wave of defections from the PTI-led ruling coalition, after the military withdrew its support for the government. In recent weeks some PTI lawmakers left the party, while once-allied parties moved to the other side of the aisle. The opposition gained a simple majority in parliament when the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) defected on March 30.

Sharif says Khan’s loss in the no-confidence motion is a sign that “good has prevailed over evil”, but Khan has major support within a deeply polarised public. Tens of thousands of people marched in cities across Pakistan to express their anger at his removal from office, with many vowing that Khan will return to power.

In this episode of The Stream we’ll look at an unprecedented week in Pakistan’s political history and what may lie ahead for the country.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Saad Rasool, @SaadRasooll
Lawyer and columnist

Amber Rahim Shamsi, @AmberRShamsi

Abdul Moiz Jaferii, @Jaferii
Lawyer and political analyst