Imran Khan’s disqualification as per Articles 63 and 62
THE PML-N led coalition government filed a reference through Speaker National Assembly under Article 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan, in response of this the Speaker referred to Election Commission of Pakistan, seeking disqualification of Ex-Premier Imran Khan from holding public office for allegedly acquiring gifts from the Toshakhana State Repository.
The reference demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan disqualify Imran Khan under section 2 and 3 of Article 63 of the Constitution, read with Article 62(I)F.
Article 62(I)F is the same provision under which the then Premier Nawaz Sharif was disqualified and Jahangir Tareen was also hit by this Article.
The government circle are confident that Imran Khan is going to be disqualified in the Toshakhana reference as he has not declared in his assets the amount he received from the sale of state gifts.
Under Section 137 of Election Act 2017, every member of Assembly and Senate shall submit to the Commission on or before 31st Dec each year, a copy of his statement of assets and liabilities including assets and liabilities of his spouse and dependent children as on the preceding 30 of June on Form BAs per section 137.4 where a member submits the statement of assets and liabilities under this section which is found to be false in material particulars, he may, within one hundred and twenty days from the submission date of the statement, be proceeded against for committing the offence of corruption practice.
On the other hand, the Federal Investigation Agency team formed to trace and arrest those running a negative social media campaign on the tragic army helicopter crash in Balochistan has been reconstituted and converted into a joint investigation team with representation from the premier intelligence bodies, besides the four FIA officials.
The JIT has been tasked with identifying and taking legal action against those involved in running a negative social media campaign on the helicopter crash.
After the accident, some social media activists and political zealots launched the deplorable hate campaign online to advance their personal and political malice, which drew a strong reaction from general public, political leadership and the state institutions.
The agency has apparently mobilised all its cyber crime centres in all north zone and deployed its experts, who in the first phase had started acquiring relevant platforms.
While the FIA is said to have started putting in place a monitoring system to gather all relevant data, its astonishing why PTI has warned that any attempt to malign the Party under the cover of this malicious campaign would elicit strong response.
In my considered opinion if any party found or involved in the malicious campaign, the Election Commission of Pakistan is empowered to delist that party under section 200 of Election Act 2017, Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section 1, a political party shall not undermine the sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, public order or public morality, registration of the Party can be withdrawn.
While the identity and affiliation of those who drove the campaign is yet to be definitively established, the absence of Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi from the martyr’s funerals sparked speculation, putting the PTI leadership on the back foot and scrambling for damage control.
Meanwhile, a former office bearer of the PTI student wing issued a video statement in which he apologised for his role in the media campaign.
In a talk with a TV channel, the Director General of ISPR said that we can tackle such propaganda collectively and this has to be condemned at every level.
However, it bears mention that not too long ago, in the halcyon days of the one page, the youth who have now crossed the line were coded as front line warriors pushing a hyper nationalistic ideology in the fifth generation war.
Fed a narrative fuelled by hate and division, they were primed to attack political opponents as well as anyone not in the service of the one page vision, now that a new chapter has opened, they have turned their guns on a section of those who enabled them.
If a change is to come about, there must be no exception to the collective repudiation of invective that now a days passes for political rhetoric or fair comment.
Opinion polls show public confidence in the army is much higher than in other institutions.
—The writer is former Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan and currently Chairman National Democratic Foundation.