Pakistani court restores ally of ex-PM to Punjab’s top post
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A top court in Pakistan on Friday reinstated the chief minister of the country’s most populous province, a defense lawyer said, a day after the Punjab’s governor dismissed him from his post.
The High Court of Lahore’s order restoring Pervez Elahi as Punjab’s top elected official is the latest twist in a national power struggle pitting Pakistan’s ruling political party against its former premier, Imran Khan.
In a major move, Punjab Gov. Balighur Rehman on Thursday sacked Elahi as the province’s chief minister for failing to win a vote of confidence in its legislature.
Elahi was removed ahead of his possible decision to order the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly, as part of a broader plan announced by his political ally Khan to pressure Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to move up nationwide elections that are currently scheduled for October 2023.
On Friday, Elahi assured the court that he will not move to dissolve the provincial legislature while the high court continues to hold hearings around the case over the coming weeks. His return to office is a boost for Khan who might have lost political influence in Punjab without Elahi in office.