Pakistan’s top court delays decision on political crisis

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Tuesday delayed its decision on whether Prime Minister Imran Khan and his allies dissolved Parliament illegally earlier this week, setting the stage for snap elections.

The court, which has been hearing arguments from Khan’s lawyers and the opposition since Monday, said it still has to hear more arguments on the crisis and that hearings would continue on Wednesday.

On Sunday, Khan’s ally and Pakistan’s deputy parliament speaker, Qasim Suri, dissolved the assembly to sidestep a no-confidence vote that Khan appeared certain to lose. The opposition claims this was against the constitution.

Khan accuses the United States of helping his political opponents in their plans to oust him, saying Washington wants him “personally gone” because of his foreign policy stands that favor Russia and China.

The U.S. has denied the accusations.

“We support the peaceful upholding of constitutional democratic principles. That is the case in Pakistan. It is the case around the world,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday. “We do not support one political party over another; we support the broader principles, the principles of rule of law, of equal justice under the law.”

Khan was criticized when Pakistan abstained from last month’s U.N. Security Council resolution to condemn Russia’s war on Ukraine — as well as for his visit to Moscow on Feb. 24, hours after Russian tanks rolled intro Ukraine.

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