Pakistan President Arif Alvi on Sunday dissolved the country’s National Assembly after Prime Minister Imran Khan advised him to do so. Khan has also called for fresh elections in Pakistan, according to the Dawn.

Earlier in the day, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri dismissed a no-confidence motion against Khan. Suri said that the motion had contravened Article 5 of the country’s Constitution, which deals with loyalty to the State and obedience to the Constitution.

The no-confidence motion was moved by the Opposition parties on March 8 and voting on it was supposed to take place in Sunday’s session of the National Assembly. In the lead up to Sunday’s session, Khan’s government had lost majority as two of its allies had withdrawn support from the coalition government.

Meanwhile, the Opposition parties claimed that they had the required numbers in the National Assembly to topple the Khan-led government. They have described the deputy speaker’s decision as unconstitutional and have decided to move the Supreme Court.

The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial has taken suo moto cognisance of the matter, the spokesperson of the apex court told Dawn.

Addressing the nation after the no-confidence motion against him was rejected, Khan congratulated citizens of Pakistan. He noted that the deputy speaker had “rejected the attempt at a regime change, which was being pushed by a foreign agenda”.

Khan said that he had received messages from several people who had expressed worry that treason was being committed through attempts to topple his government, Dawn reported.

“I want to say, ‘ghabrana nahi hai’ [do not worry)]...God is watching over Pakistan,” Khan said.

Farrukh Habib, Pakistan’s minister of state for information and broadcasting said on Twitter that fresh elections will be held in the country in 90 days. However, no official announcement has been made on the matter yet.

Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney General of Pakistan Raja Khalid Mahmood Khan announced his resignation on Sunday, describing the dismissal of the no-trust motion as a “clear abrogation of the Constitution”, reported the Dawn.

What did the Opposition say?

Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari claimed that the government had violated the Constitution by not allowing voting on the no-confidence motion.

“The united opposition is not leaving parliament,” he said. “Our lawyers are on their way to Supreme Court. We call on ALL institutions to protect, uphold, defend & implement the constitution of Pakistan.”

Shehbaz Sharif, the leader of Opposition in the National Assembly said that Khan had committed “high treason”. He expressed hope that the Supreme Court would “play its role to uphold the Constitution”

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Member of National Assembly Ahsan Iqbal claimed that Khan had subverted the country’s constitution.

“Decency, grace & honour are great virtues but Imran Niazi showing to the whole world that he doesn’t posses even an iota of them,” he said. “Having lost majority in National Assembly chooses to bulldoze constitution. He will be defeated with unprecedented humiliation in history Insha Allah!”

What happened in the National Assembly?

Soon after the session of the National Assembly started on Sunday, Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry took the floor and reiterated Khan’s claims of a “foreign conspiracy” to dislodge the government, Dawn reported.

“On March 7, our official ambassador was invited to a meeting attended by the representatives of other countries,” he told the National Assembly. “The meeting was told that a motion against PM Imran was being presented.”

Chaudhry pointed out that the Opposition parties presented the no-confidence motion just a day after this said meeting took place.

“We were told that relations with Pakistan were dependent on the success of the no-confidence motion,” Chaudhry added. “We were told that if the motion fails, then Pakistan’s path would be very difficult. This is an operation for a regime change by a foreign government.”

The minister said that these developments violated Article 5 of Pakistan’s Constitution and urged the deputy speaker to decide on the constitutionality of the motion before allowing members to vote on it. The deputy speaker ten rejected the motion, citing provisions of Article 5.

Political crisis

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party lost its majority in the Parliament after two of its key ally withdrew support from his government.

Currently, Khan’s government is left with 164 members of the National Assembly, while the joint Opposition now has 177. The Pakistani National Assembly has a total strength of 342 members, with the majority mark set at 172.

On Thursday, he had claimed that a “foreign nation” was involved in the attempt to oust his government. He had said that he will not resign from his post as prime minister and would face the motion in the National Assembly.