PTI seeks inquiry into govt's audio leak on resignations

Plea calls for formation of an inquiry commission to probe PM and cabinet members


Hasnaat Malik October 01, 2022
A policeman walks past the Supreme Court building in Islamabad, Pakistan, on November 28, 2019. (AFP/File)

ISLAMABAD:

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) approached the Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday for the constitution of an inquiry commission to probe audio leaks pertaining to the government's strategy regarding accepting the PTI lawmakers' resignations.

The party, through Chaudhry Faisal Hussain, moved an application in the case which is being heard by the apex court against the IHC's decision declaring acceptance of PTI lawmakers' resignations by deputy speaker National Assembly Qasim Suri as 'unconstitutional'.

The application requested that an inquiry commission be constituted to inquire from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and members of the federal cabinet including Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarrar, Defence Minister Khwaja Asif, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Economic Affairs Ayaz Sadiq and all others including National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf and Secretary National Assembly.

"That criminal proceedings may very graciously be lodged against the above named inter alia for hatching a criminal conspiracy, violating their oath and subverting of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973".

Read IHC puts off resignations of 11 PTI MNAs

The application added that the recently-surfaced audio leaks on social media containing disclosures in regards to the case where the premier and his cabinet members, Rana Sanaullah, Khwaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Ayaz Sadiq and Azam Nazeer Tarrar, can be heard "discussing a heinous strategy to outplay the petitioner from parliamentary politics in most illegal, unlawful and objectionable manner".

"The entire discussion revolves around a 'criminal strategy/conspiracy' to affect and target the petitioner through (illegal and unlaw full) piecemeal acceptance of the resignations tendered by the members of the National Assembly on the 11th day of April 2022, belonging to the petitioner party. The transcript and audio record are annexed herewith, which may very graciously be read as an integral part of the instant paragraph."

"It is important to mention that the above-referred conspiracy has been acted upon with the active connivance of the Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf and the Secretary National Assembly. This August court has already ceased the matter.

"The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif in a press conference held on 27-09-2022, in Islamabad, admitted the actuality and existence of the referred audio leaks. It is also important to bring on record that Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah have already admitted the reality of the audio leaks.

Read More 'National security crisis': PTI demands probe into govt audio leaks

The plea added that "after the admission from the incumbent office holders, the revelations surfaced through the audio leaks are to be treated as new facts emerged during the pendency of the proceedings before this august court, therefore, request to take judicial notice of the startling revelation deemed most appropriate".

PTI further argued in its petition that PM Shehbaz, his cabinet members and the NA speaker violated their oath "in utter disregard of the law and the Constitution, with malafide intention".

It added that they further "hatched and acted upon a criminal conspiracy against 123 elected members of the petitioner party with the object to systematically de-seat the members of the petitioner party in violation of article 64 and the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business 2007, hence liable to be proceeded and tried accordingly".

"It is submitted that the adherence to law and the constitution is the inviolable duty of the incumbent federal government and also of the Speaker of National Assembly. It is established beyond any doubt that the PM, Federal Ministers and the Speaker of National Assembly have miserably failed to abide by the constitution and law and their oaths," the plea added.

On Sunday, a leaked audio clip surfaced that purportedly revealed a conversation between the prime minister and the federal cabinet members discussing the resignations of PTI lawmakers and seeking the final approval on the issue of resignations from London - where party supremo Nawaz Sharif resides.

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