Imran’s actions amount to high treason, charges opposition

Leaders say a prime minister who has lost majority cannot dissolve the assembly, demand ex-PM’s trial under Article 6

Our Correspondent April 03, 2022
Opposition leaders addressing a news conference in Islamabad on March 8. SCREENGRAB


The joint opposition immediately cried foul at dismissal of the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan, accusing the former prime minister of taking actions that amounted to high treason.

Reacting to the ruling by National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri to discard the motion, top opposition figures like Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif, and Maulana Fazlur Rehman slammed Imran Khan for taking unconstitutional steps, over which they insisted he should be ‘dealt with’ in accordance to Article 6.

“A man obsessed with power trampled the Constitution today,” Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif said in a tweet. “Imran Khan put his ego before the country and the nation and all the conspirators involved in this conspiracy are guilty of high treason and Article 6 applies on them.”

“The prime minister, speaker, deputy speaker, president, and anybody [else] involved in this act today have committed high treason. There is no room in our Constitution for them to dissolve the assembly, issue a notification to dissolve the assembly, while we brought no-confidence motion,” Bilawal said.

“We are recording our protest in parliament. We have demanded of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and all those institutions responsible for the protection and implementation of the Constitution to do so and accept our no-confidence that is legal,” said the PPP chief.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President Fazlur Rehman fired a broadside against the prime minister, saying that Imran was not only defeated in parliament but also humiliated and disgraced.

“The whole country has been pushed into a political crisis,” Fazl said. “Imran has left even dictators behind with what had happened in the assembly today. We have repeatedly warned that this person is incapable of becoming the prime minister because of his mental state," the JUI-F chief added.

PML-N President and Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif alleged that Imran Khan was a traitor as per the Constitution and democratic norms. “Imran Niazi and his followers openly violated the Constitution,” he said.

Also read: SC bars state institutions from taking 'extra-constitutional' steps

“Article 5 of the Constitution [which concerns loyalty to state and obedience to Constitution and law] is used, in which it is written that in any case, the Constitution will be implemented… the Constitution is attacked [today] to extend personal power unconstitutionally. Imran Niazi has pushed the country towards anarchy.”

Both Shehbaz and Bilawal expressed the hope that the Supreme Court would save the nation from crisis. In an interview with a TV channel, the PPP chief said he hoped that the judiciary would not allow any unconstitutional act to take place.

Following the National Assembly session, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter, stating that no one should be allowed to “distort” the Constitution to save their seat. “Crazy and obsessive”, the PML-N leader said. “It will be the law of the jungle if Imran is not punished for his actions today.”

Talking to media personnel outside the Parliament House, PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb called the former prime minister a traitor who had lost the support of the majority and so, could not dissolve assemblies or dismiss the no-trust move through Suri.

PPP’s Sherry Rehman agreed that a prime minister, “who has lost his majority” could not dissolve the assembly. “All actions today are unconstitutional, illegal and will take the country straight into a dangerous constitutional crisis,” she tweeted.

PPP’s Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar also took to Twitter to condemn the ruling party’s action, terming it a “blatant violation” of the Constitution and rules. PPP leader Aseefa Bhutto Zardari said “the selected PM just ran away from Parliament, a Parliament he has lost his majority in”.

Chairperson of the National Democratic Movement Mohsin Dawar called the move a “historical low in” parliamentary history, which showed the “fragility” of parliamentary democracy. “The deputy speaker and the Prime Minister along with his team should be tried under Article 6,” he said.


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