ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb Thursday warned former prime minister Imran Khan of a treason trial for allegedly subverting the Constitution to prevent his ouster from power through a no-confidence motion.
“Imran Khan has been saying that he was asking the neutrals to intervene. This is a case of Article 6 for violating the Constitution,” she told a news conference. She said people were asking Imran Khan as to why he had not dissolved the national and provincial assemblies and initiated an inquiry by setting up a commission on the so-called foreign conspiracy if he had received a cipher on March 8.
“If he knew on March 8 that an international conspiracy had been hatched against his government, he should have formed a commission at once. Imran Khan did not hold an inquiry into the matter as he knew that it was a blatant lie, which he started propagating after foreseeing his imminent defeat in the no-confidence motion tabled by the-then opposition in the National Assembly,” she maintained.
About the PTI chief’s announcement of challenging a Lahore High Court decision on the Punjab Chief Minister’s election, Marriyum said Imran Khan had ceded the high moral ground for filing an appeal before the apex court, which had already decided against his constitutional transgression with a 5-0 majority. According to the decision of the Apex Court, she maintained, Imran Khan had violated the Constitution by influencing the speaker, Punjab governor and other representatives of the government, while the ruling of the-then deputy speaker was also declared unconstitutional. “It was Imran who also committed the contempt of the Apex Court by inciting his workers to violate its order and reach the D-Chowk during a long march on May 25,” she added.
She regretted that the media had misreported the LHC decision on the election of the Punjab CM. “This is not a good tradition as it is tantamount to disinformation and the public was misled through misreporting on the matter. The media has to take the responsibility,” she said, adding Hamza Shehbaz had neither been removed from office nor was his election declared null and void and also Usman Buzdar was not restored as CM.
According to Article 130, Section 4, she said, it was the continuation of the previous election under which the CM had to be elected by securing a majority vote in the assembly. “Hamza Shehbaz is the CM until re-voting, which is scheduled for Friday. All the decisions, which would be taken by Hamza Shehbaz as CM till 4pm, were protected by the law and Constitution,” she maintained.
Taking a dig at the PTI leaders for distributing sweets and dancing to drumbeats soon after the announcement of the LHC decision, she said they then took a u-turn and announced challenging it in the Apex Court. The minister said Imran Khan had a problem of not accepting his defeat while it was on record as to how he had attacked institutions after his ouster from office. “Imran Khan said he should not be kicked out of the Prime Minister’s office as he was not to blame for inflation. He had not only created inflation but also robbed every department to make money,” she claimed.
“Vested interests are those when the prime minister distributes diamonds, purchases land and takes commission on every transfer and posting of civil servant through his front person Farah Gogi,” she said, while lashing out at Imran Khan for saying that the PMLN had come to power to achieve personal gains. “Vested interests were fulfilled by Imran Khan by running Bani Gala like Money Gala and patronising mafias and cartels,” the minister added.
She said Imran Khan, who had been imposed on the country as prime minister for four years, could not prove a single accusation against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and PMLN leader Nawaz Sharif despite enjoying the executive power and setting up an asset recovery unit in the PM’s Office. “He has no right to compare himself with Nawaz Sharif who became PM thrice with the power of vote and gave them motorways, abundant electricity, gas and economic growth,” she added.
“Ironically, Imran Khan, who mourned his incompetency and failures today, accused others of misuse of authority, money laundering and corruption and regarded them as thieves. He sent his opponents and media persons to the death cell by influencing the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and even the Anti-Narcotics Force,” she added. “Before raising a finger at the NAB law changes, Imran Khan, who had come to the power after alleged failure of the Result Transmission System (RTS), should better read court decisions in cases which he filed against his political opponents fraudulently. Be it a decision in the case of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif or Hamza Shehbaz or Maryam Nawaz or Saad Rafique or Rana Sanaullah or others, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government did not challenge a single case in the Apex Court,” she maintained.
“All Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders were exonerated and given bail by courts in the cases after no corruption, kickbacks, and embezzlement were found,” she said, adding, “It is written in the case of Khwaja Saad Rafique that the NAB was used for political engineering. So, it is my duty to inform the public about correct news and incompetency of Imran Khan.”
She said Imran Khan, while being in power, had violated human rights and resorted to political victimisation to satisfy his ego. “They sent a fabricated record to the National Crime Agency, UK, accusing Shehbaz Sharif of money laundering, but faced sheer embarrassment when nothing was found,” she claimed.
In the PTI’s tenure, she said, the NAB failed to produce evidence before the court to prove corruption against the PML-N leaders, while the party’s counsel, Naeem Bukhari, had himself withdrawn an appeal against bail to PM Shehbaz Sharif. She said the withdrawal of the appeal was tantamount to an admission that the decision to give bail to Shehbaz Sharif was right. The minister said it did not end here as Shehzad Akbar, who was actually heading Imran Khan’s asset recovery unit in the PM’s Office, had planted a fake story against PM Shehbaz Sharif through foreign journalist David Rose. “All details of political witch-hunting were part of the official record,” she maintained.
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