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Former PM Imran Khan can face treason charges, says Pak information minister

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Islamabad | July 1, 2022 3:26:39 PM IST
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan can face treason charges for abrogating the constitution of Pakistan said Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Thursday, reported Geo News.

During a news conference, Aurangzeb said that according to the Supreme Court's verdict, Imran Khan had violated the constitution when he was facing a no-trust motion as the then deputy speaker had ruled out the vote of no-confidence against him unconstitutionally.

She was speaking in reference to PTI leader and former deputy speaker of the National Assembly (NA) Qasim Suri's ruling when he had rejected the no-trust motion against then prime minister Imran Khan, however, SC termed it unconstitutional and restored the NA, reported Geo News.

Aurangzeb went on to say that Imran Khan has been asking the neutrals continuously to intervene, "This is the case of Article 6 for violating the Constitution.

After failing at his attempts to block the no-confidence motion upon realization of falling short of the majority, Khan declared the launch of a "freedom struggle" in the National Assembly within hours of being voted out of power on April 10.

Further, the Supreme Court had to repeatedly intervene in the process of the no-trust motion, by taking note of the rejection of the motion in the National Assembly and summoning all parties for a four-day hearing.

The relevant provisions of the constitution based on which Khan can face treason charges include Article 5(1) under which "loyalty to the state and obedience to the constitution and law" is an inviolable obligation of every citizen.

Another article included in the petitions -- Article 6 -- states that any person who abrogates or attempts to abrogate the constitution by use of force shall be guilty of high treason, adding that an act of treason cannot be validated by any court including the Supreme Court.

Thus, a trial against Khan may implicate all those who participated in blocking the parliamentary vote, a legitimate exercise under the Constitution.

These cohorts include President Arif Alvi, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar, Deputy Speaker Qasim Shah Suri and two former ministers -- Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Fawad Chaudhary.

Moreover, dismissing serious concern from the government's legal wing, Khan sent the Foreign Office diplomatic letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, claiming that a foreign country sent a threatening message through Pakistan's envoy.

Lambasting PTI's narrative of a foreign conspiracy, Aurangzeb said that if Imran Khan had received the cypher on March 8, why didn't he initiate an inquiry by setting up a commission, reported Geo News.

"Imran Khan should have formed a commission if he already knew about the conspiracy, but he did not hold (an) inquiry because it was a blatant lie," she said. (ANI)

 
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