The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly stood dissolved on Wednesday as Governor Haji Ghulam Ali signed and approved Chief Minister Mahmood Khan’s summary for the dissolution of the provincial legislature.
The move comes days after the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly as PTI Chairman Imran Khan has vowed to disassociate himself from the “current corrupt political system” by quitting the two assemblies where he is in power.
A notification from the governor, available with Dawn.com, was dispatched to CM Mahmood and Leader of the Opposition Akram Khan Durrani. It said the KP Assembly and provincial cabinet were dissolved with immediate effect under Clause 1 of Article 112 of the Constitution.
The law states that the governor shall dissolve the provincial assembly if so advised by the chief minister; and the provincial assembly shall, unless sooner dissolved, stand dissolved at the expiration of forty-eight hours after the chief minister has so advised.
The notification said that the caretaker CM would be appointed by the governor in consultation with Mahmood and Durrani. The governor called on them to provide the names of their nominees for the position by January 21.
He added that until the appointment of the caretaker CM, Mahmood will continue to hold office to perform the day-to-day affairs of the province.
Talking to reporters in Peshawar later in the day, Ali said that he hoped Mahmood and Durrani would not “waste any time” and decide on a name for the caretaker CM with consensus so that the “country can solve its political and economic crisis”.
He said that he himself acted promptly because the eight to nine months had already been “wasted”.
“Why are attempts being made to create a quagmire […] let the people of Punjab and KP decide,” he added.
On Tuesday night, Mahmood had formally advised the governor to dissolve the provincial legislature. The chief minister’s advice said: “I, Mahmood Khan, chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in pursuance of provisions of Article 112(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, do hereby forward my advice for dissolution of KP Assembly on January 17, 2023, at 17:00 hours.”
Later, in a video message, he had said that the PTI would return with a “two-thirds majority not just in KP but all of Pakistan and form a government on the basis of our performance”.
Dissolution of assemblies
Over the weekend, the Punjab Assembly (PA) stood dissolved as Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman excused himself from the process, saying he could not become a part of the move.
Subsequently, CM Mahmood had also promised to dissolve the KP provincial assembly following the dissolution of the PA, saying a summary to this effect would be sent to Governor Ali on January 17 (today).
“According to the orders [issued] from leader Imran Khan, a summary for dissolution of the KP assembly will be sent to the governor on Tuesday,” the CM had said in a tweet.
The announcement had come after an online meeting between Imran, the KP cabinet and former KP governor Shah Farman at the CM House.
On January 15, PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif attending an important party meeting via video link from London had directed its leaders and workers to start preparing for elections in Punjab and pledged that the federal coalition would not be “blackmailed” by the PTI chief’s demand to hold snap elections in the country.
A party insider had told Dawn that Nawaz was categorical about Imran’s demand to hold snap polls in the country. “Nawaz had said … come what may, we will not be blackmailed by Khan’s demand. The general elections will be held on time (Oct-Nov 2023).”