The president of Pakistan has now dissolved the parliament on the words of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. He called for new elections after the no-confidence motion by the joint opposition got dismissed by the National Assembly’s deputy speaker. The motion was declared unconstitutional by the deputy speaker as he called it a part of an attempt by the ‘foreign powers’ to hamper the nation’s democracy. On the other hand, Pakistan opposition leaders claim that they could have removed Khan after his allies changed sides.
With that being said, here are the names and details of the leaders involved in the Pakistan constitutional crisis.
Shehbaz Sharif is the brother of the three-time PM Nawaz Sharif. The latter has now been disqualified from running for office ever again and presently remains in exile in the UK. If the no-confidence motion had succeeded, Shehbaz would have come up as the chief candidate to come in Khan’s place as the prime minister.
This 70-year-old politician is a heavyweight in this arena as he has previously served as the CM of Punjab, and he is currently the president of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N).
Asif Ali Zardari
Zardari, coming from an affluent Sindhi family, was known for his flamboyant image before his marriage with Benazir Bhutto right after she became Pakistan Prime Minister for the very first time.
He came into politics with extreme gusto and even earned the nickname of ‘Mr. Ten Percent’ for the cuts he took from the government contracts. In fact, he went to jail twice on charges of murder, drug smuggling, and corruption, though he never had to face trial.
This 67-year-old politician became the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairperson after Benazir was assassinated in 2007. Thanks to a power-sharing with the PML-N, Zardari became the PM of Pakistan in 2008.
Bilawal Zardari Bhutto
Bilawal, the son of Asif Zardari and Benazir Bhutto, is political royalty in Pakistan. He took on the role of the PPP chairman at the young age of nineteen after his mother’s death.
This 33-year-old is Oxford educated, and follows the progressive ideologies of his mother. He has always been outspoken about the rights of minorities and women.
As a majority of Pakistan’s population is aged around 22, Bhutto easily connects with them through his social media channels.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman
Rehman might have started the political life as the firebrand hardliner, but he tried to soften his image in the past few years. In fact, he adopted the kind of flexibility that made him easily forge alliances with different secular parties on the right and left of the spectrum.
His party, Jamiatul Ulema-e-Islam (F), has never managed to gather enough support to let him come to power on his own. But it has always been a major player in Pakistani government regimes.
A staunch enemy of Khan, Rehman calls him ‘Jew’ due to his marriage with Jemima Goldsmith. In return, Khan calls him ‘Mullah Diesel’ because of his participation in corruption related to fuel licensing.