Imran Khan, the
Pakistan premier, was all set to lose power. The no-confidence motion seemed
ready to pass and the opposition was reported to have the numbers to unseat the
ace cricketer. But the pioneer of reverse swing pulled a rabbit out of his hat,
and while the National Assembly was dissolved, the opposition could not form a
government. Why? Because of Article 5 in the Pakistan Constitution.

On Sunday, the
no-confidence motion was tabled in the National Assembly. Within minutes, Deputy
Speaker Qasim Suri rejected the no-confidence motion citing Article 5 of the Constitution.
Later on, Pakistan President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly on the
advice of Imran Khan. Subsequently, elections were called after the opposition
said it would challenge the deputy speaker’s order in the Supreme Court.

What is
Article 5?

Article 5 of the
Pakistan Constitution is titled: “Loyalty to State and obedience to
Constitution and law”. The article states:

to the State is the basic duty of every citizen

to the Constitution and law is the 10 obligation of every citizen wherever he
may be and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan.

How did
Article 5 help Imran Khan?

Article 5 kicked
in as Pakistan law minister, prior to government dissolution, Fawad Chaudhry,
said a letter had established that the no-confidence motion was being used to
affect a regime change at the behest of a foreign power.

“It is an
effective operation for a regime change by a foreign power. It is not an issue
of no-confidence but Article 5,” Chaudhry said.

How did
opposition leaders react?

Shebaz Sharif, the
leader of opposition, said, “We are going to challenge the ruling by the deputy
speaker and advice by the prime minister to dissolve Parliament in the Supreme

“What Imran Khan
has done against is against the laws. We’re approaching our lawyers. The
speaker has done some undemocratic work. Imran Khan has exposed himself through
this move,” said Bilwal Bhutto Zardari, the Pakistan People’s Party chief.