Jailed Imran Khan’s party to observe ‘Thanksgiving Day’ as ruling PDM government bows out


Islamabad: Jailed former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party is observing Thursday as “Thanksgiving and Salvation Day” as the 16-month tenure of the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government ended.

President Arif Alvi dissolved the National Assembly on Wednesday night on the recommendation of outgoing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, marking an end to the current government’s tenure three days ahead of its mandated period.

Sharif will continue to perform his duties as the premier until the appointment of a caretaker prime minister.

The notification for the dissolution of the assembly issued by the Presidential Palace said the National Assembly was dissolved under Article 58 of the Constitution.

With the National Assembly dissolved, former prime minister Khan’s party PTI announced on Wednesday that it will observe August 10 (Thursday) as “Thanksgiving and Salvation Day”, Geo News reported.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the PTI core committee decided to commemorate the day, as the 16-month tenure of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government will end tonight. The PDM alliance replaced the government of Khan in April last year.

The PTI has decided to put forth a detailed analysis of the “devastation” caused by the PDM-led incompetent government before the nation, read the statement.

The former ruling party will inform the masses about censorship of media and repression against journalists, it added.

Details related to skyrocketing inflation and economic disaster will also be brought before the nation, the statement said.

The move to dissolve the National Assembly came as former premier Khan is fighting to overturn a corruption conviction.

Khan, 70, was sentenced to three years in prison by an Islamabad trial court on Saturday in the Toshakhana corruption case for unlawfully selling state gifts during his tenure as prime minister from 2018 to 2022. He was subsequently arrested by the Punjab police from his residence in Lahore.

Khan, who is currently lodged in the Attock Jail, appealed his conviction and the three-year prison sentence in the case by filing a plea through his lawyers at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.

The dissolution of the lower house of Parliament comes around a week after the government announced that assemblies would be dissolved on August 9, three days ahead of its mandated period, following which elections are to be held within 90 days.

Since the assembly has been dissolved before time, the Election Commission of Pakistan would hold elections within 90 days.

The outgoing assembly was the 15th National Assembly which began its five-year journey on August 13, 2018, with the election of a speaker and deputy speaker. The assembly was elected after an election held on July 25, 2018.

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