Distinguished Professor Dr. Ali Riaz has published a commentary on the role of the judiciary in the downfall of the Imran Khan government in Pakistan.

Khan lost a no-confidence motion at the parliament on April 9. Khan previously requested the President to dissolve the parliament on April 3 to avoid the no-confidence motion. However, the Supreme Court intervened and ruled that the measure was unconstitutional and asked the parliament to hold the vote. The opposition had alleged mismanagement of the economy by the government in the wake of popular protests for months. Khan and his party alleged that the United States has engineered his ouster; the U.S. denied any involvement.

The court’s decision to intervene has stirred debate whether it had acted on behalf of the army, a powerful actor in Pakistani politics. Riaz examines the history of the relationship between the executive and the judiciary in the country for past 75 years. While the judiciary in Pakistan had aligned with the executive in the past, since 2007 it has started to assert itself and acted independently. Commenting on the recent actions, Riaz opined that the court’s conduct appeared to be an attempt to protect the constitutional integrity of the legislative process instead of being instigated or influenced by other forces in judging the constitutionality of Khan’s government’s actions.