Jagran Explainer: What is Article 224 of Pakistan Constitution under which Imran Khan will continue as PM?

Pakistan Political Crisis: Earlier in the day, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly rejected the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government.

By Aalok Sensharma
Updated: Sun, 03 Apr 2022 04:08 PM IST
Minute Read
Jagran Explainer: What is Article 224 of Pakistan Constitution under which Imran Khan will continue as PM?
Imran Khan/ Reuters image

New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The entire cabinet of Pakistan was dissolved on Sunday after President Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi accepted Prime Minister Imran Khan's advice. However, Imran will continue his duties under Article 224 of the Constitution till fresh elections are held, announced Chaudhry Fawad Hussain.

"The Prime Minister will continue his duties under Article 224 of the Constitution. The Cabinet has been dissolved," Hussain said in a Tweet in Urdu.

What is Article 224 of the Pakistan constitution?

Article 224 of the Pakistan constitution is related to elections and by-elections. It states that elections for the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly will be held within 60 days "immediately following the day on which the term of the Assembly is due to expire, unless the Assembly has been sooner dissolved, and the results of the election shall be declared not later than fourteen days before that day."

In case, an Assembly is dissolved under Article 58 or Article 112, the President or Governor will appoint a caretaker Cabinet after consulting the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, or the Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the Provincial Assembly.

"Members of the care-taker Cabinets including the care-take Prime Minister and the care-taker Chief Minister and their immediate family members shall not be eligible to contest the immediately following elections to such Assemblies," the article states, as reported by InfoPakistan.pk.com.

Article 224 further states that when a National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly is dissolved, elections would be held within 90 days, noting that results would be declared within 14 days after the conclusion of the polls.

What happened earlier in the day?

Earlier in the day, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly rejected the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran and his government. Later, Imran addressed the nation, saying he has advised the President to dissolve the National Assembly, a move heavily criticised by opposition leaders.

"Prepare for elections. No corrupt forces will decide what the future of the country will be. When the assemblies will be dissolved, the procedure for the next elections and the caretaker government will begin," the 69-year-old cricketer-turned-politician said.

Here it should be noted that no Pakistani Prime Minister has ever completed a full five-year term in office.

What do constitutional experts say?

Salman Akram Raja, a leading constitutional lawyer in Pakistan, has called the entire process of dissolving the National Assembly "unconstitutional". Criticising the Deputy Speaker for his move, Raja said the Supreme Court would decide the entire controversy.

He further said the illegality of the ruling would also make the advice illegal as the prime minister cannot advise the assembly after a no-confidence motion was presented in the parliament against him.

"The basic issue is determining the legality of the ruling by the deputy speaker. If the top court says that the ruling is according to laws, then the advice by the prime minister will also be as per law," Raja was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

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