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SC to hear next week petition seeking Imran’s disqualification

SC to hear next week petition seeking Imran’s disqualification

ISLAMABAD: A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar will take up next week a petition seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

According to the cause-list issued by the apex court, the petition has been fixed before the bench comprising CJP Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan for Monday (Sept 24).

The petition was filed by Barrister Danyal Chaudhry in May last year soon after the apex court had constituted a six-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe allegations of corruption against then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and has been pending before court since then.

The petitioner was seeking a special oath to the JIT members for protecting them from getting influenced by the speeches of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan.

Plea was filed in May last year soon after the apex court constituted JIT to probe corruption allegations against Nawaz Sharif

The petition filed through Advocate Quasain Faisal Mufti had requested the apex court to restrain Imran Khan from activities which could influence the minds of the JIT members because his speeches and press releases could prejudice the investigation team. It also feared that if Mr Khan was not stopped from making political statements, it might allegedly result in derailment of democracy — a process running successfully and smoothly for a decade.

The petition had also requested the Supreme Court to order the Pakistan Electronic Media Regula­tory Authority (Pemra) not to allow broadcast by the electronic media of any material which jeopardised the sovereignty, integrity and solidarity of Pakistan and well-being and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.

The petitioner was of the opinion that people could not afford any turmoil or turbulence at this juncture when the country and its people were trying to bridge the trust and peace deficit, which over the years developed due to unbridled waves of terrorism that had lessened after remarkable efforts by the country’s armed forces, but not yet completely overcome.

International forces had been given the task of sabotaging the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor against which certain indigenous political forces due to their innocence acted as a catalyst to sabotage the historic and giant project — an emblem of long-lasting Pakistan-China friendship, the petition emphasised.

It recalled that due to the PTI’s 2014 sit-in in Islamabad, the Chinese president had deferred his visit to Pakistan, resulting in jeopardising different projects pertaining to the CPEC because of political uncertainty that negatively impacted the country’s financial markets. The foreign exchange reserves had also declined considerably as a result, it argued.

The petition alleged that Imran Khan was making speeches to undermine the Panama Papers case judgement and further influence the expected outcome of the JIT investigation. In some of his statements, it said, Mr Khan was making allegations against different institutions including but not limited to those who were bestowed upon with the responsibility to investigate the allegations as ordered by the Supreme Court.

The petition alleged that the conduct of Mr Khan amounted to destabilising the government and hampered the functioning of the federal government by weakening its writ and thus destabilising the confidence of the government in making decisions in respect of national and international affairs.

Besides other things, the petition had sought disqualification of Imran Khan for not disclosing his alleged loved child Teriyan White in his nomination papers for the general elections.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2018

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