Qasim Suri Deputy Speaker National Assembly dismissed the No Confidence Motion, on a point of order by Fawad Chaudhry quoting Article 5 of the Constitution of Pakistan. It states: 5 Loyalty to State and obedience to Constitution and law. (1) Loyalty to the State is the basic duty of every citizen. (2) Obedience to the Constitution and law is the [inviolable] obligation of every citizen wherever he may be and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan. The basis of applying Article 5 was a letter Imran Khan waved at a charged crowd stating it contained threats to him from the U.S. Let us first examine this legally. No one saw the ‘letter’ and the contents within. Any allegation must be proved at a relevant forum first. Second, procedurally to the abrupt dismissal was legally incorrect. The point of dispute should have been raised much earlier thereby giving time to the Parliament to debate upon the letter. This was not the only point where the Constitution was violated. If the vote of no confidence can be thrown out of the window by declaring disloyalty by all others, this can be so done on any alleged point. Article 58 becomes redundant, and democratically no one can be removed. The fact is, the body appointing the PM alone can remove the PM. This was not all. ‘Article 69 was interpreted in Yousuf Raza Gilani case by SC to apply only to internal proceedings of parliament. SC ruled that it can overrule Speaker when a constitutional question other than assembly proceedings is involved. In this case, the question is whether PM who has Vote of No Confidence moved against him dissolve NA.’ Third, Rule 37(8) of the National Assembly Rules of Procedure clearly states that, after the leave is granted to move the no confidence motion, the Assembly shall not be prorogued until the No-confidence resolution is voted upon. [Quoting Barrister Zahid Jamil] Fourth, if the above step is unconstitutional all subsequent steps by Prime Minister and President too are unconstitutional. A prime minister against whom Vote of No Confidence is instituted cannot give advice to President to dismiss assemblies as per the provision within the Constitution of Pakistan 1973. Fifth, Article 63A only provides for de-seating and is silent on future elections of the member concerned. ‘But the presidential reference is deeply flawed as it goes against a settled legal principle as the courts cannot interpret what is not already written in law. Only the legislature can amend the constitution to broaden its scope as suggested in the reference.’ It will be incorrect to assume, unless proved that the members of a party not willing to vote along the party line have so done by being offered any kind of financial benefit. A friend states, ‘Interestingly, when the 2019 Senate chairman’s vote of no-confidence was held, the opposition lost despite the numbers, and this was vehemently defended by the ruling party which had argued that a secret vote was a vote of conscience and the question of buying votes was impossible.’ The question that raises its head is; will the Deputy Speaker, Prime Minister and President be indicted for violating Article 6 for violating the Constitution? Let us now examine, the ‘letter’ that turned out to be a cable probably sent by the Ambassador of Pakistan based in US. Whenever any meeting takes place between members of an embassy, minutes of meetings are drawn up. A separate person is authorized to note the exchange, it is not done by participants’ themselves. But by the authorized functionary. This is discussed at the embassy with a copy sent to Prime Minister of concerned embassy[ies]. The Prime Minister deemed the letter as ‘threatening’. ‘Imran Khan claimed that Donald Lu warned the Pakistani envoy to the US, Asad Majeed, that there would be implications if the Pakistan PM survived the no-trust vote in the National Assembly.’ [Daily Times APRIL 4, 2022]. Since the contents of the letter were not revealed, a definitive comment cannot be made, but it was stated on media that the language used was undiplomatic. There is a difference between something being threatening ad undiplomatic. What was a dangerous ploy by the Prime Minister was to use this letter, at the Parliament no vote confidence date, to save his seat against the defeat facing in his face. One does not implicate super powers in alleged conspiracy theories without substantive proof. Let us examine why possibly some quarters in US be upset at Khan to even use undiplomatic language. Taliban coming in power in Afghanistan was the Achilles’ heel for Biden. US had lost a war after their longest stay in another country. Imran Khan took up the cudgels on their behalf to repeatedly demanding US to free Afghanistan’s frozen assets of $9 billion. This was not once or twice. It was an ongoing litany. US has been the biggest financial supporter of Pakistan. It cannot have felt good about this stance. Instead of using diplomatic channels to make the request, Khan decided to demand openly, publicly. On March 4th, 2022, Khan announced that Uzbekistan and Pakistan will lobby to unfreeze Afghanistan funds. Khan obviously does not understand how diplomacy works. Many times, work is done behind the curtains to achieve results. Everything is not a photo-op. The second blunder he made was visiting Russia just as she was on verge of invading Ukraine. This writer in an op-ed dated February 26th 2022 in this very paper wrote, “The Pakistan Premier’s visit as Russian forces went into offensive against Ukraine, was bad timing. The optics conveyed are being seen as supportive to Russia. The visit understandably did not happen overnight but will be seen as endorsing the Russian action by many. U.S has not reacted kindly to the visit. Pakistan and Russia’s bilateral issues have been relegated to the sub-text in face of this full-blown crisis. Pakistan needs to keep a positive rapport with the west. Due to FATF, IMF, EU and GSP, it is not in a position to ditch its neutrality.” It was also obvious that the Establishment was standing aside, letting the political parties slug it out. How Khan can get together the remaining of his party remains to be seen. The important thing is if he is willing to learn from his mistakes. That will determine the future course for him. The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled ‘A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan.’ She can be contacted at: email@example.com and tweets at @yasmeen_9.