New twist to ‘Lettergate’

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THE ‘Lettergate’ scandal took a new turn after reliable official sources told both mainstream media in Pakistan and the Reuters news agency that the National Security Committee meeting did discuss the ‘conspiracy’ theory linked to the ‘threatening communication’ but found no credible evidence to substantiate the serious allegations of ‘foreign-funded conspiracy’ to dislodge the elected government.

The issue was said to have been raised by the civilian side during a meeting of the NSC but the military side affirmed that there was no evidence to declare it a “conspiracy” on the basis of conjectures.

The clarification comes in the wake of claims by the Government side that the National Security Committee had confirmed a plot to overthrow the Prime Minister prompting leaders of the main opposition parties to make demands that the military participants of the meeting should clarify their position.

The official sources have been quoted as saying that how could anyone declare political leaders as traitors on the basis of conjectures, adding that this is a dangerous trend for the country as well as national politics.

One such media report also claimed that the government linked the so-called conspiracy to the process of no-confidence motion on the basis of a report of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) regarding meetings of the opposition leaders and the dissident members of the PTI (with members of the diplomatic community), which is a routine not just in Pakistan but throughout the world.

It is now, therefore, confirmed that the entire issue of conspiracy theory revolves around mere suspicions and this is, indeed, a dangerous precedent to dub mainstream political leadership as traitors on the basis of cooked up charges.

The opposition is also claiming that the letter is fake with PML(N) leader PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz saying the “threat letter”, termed by Prime Minister Imran Khan as evidence of ‘foreign conspiracy’ against his government, was drafted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials.

She also pointed out that PM Imran used the platform of National Security Committee (NSC) for political gains and misconstrued its communiqué as there was no mention of foreign conspiracy in the NSC official statement.

There is increasing demand that the letter should be thoroughly probed and both its original writer as well as senior officials of the Foreign Office should be summoned by the Supreme Court to find out the truth.

This is understandable as a constitutional process was subverted under the shield of this letter and there are also apprehensions that the same tool can be used against the opposition leaders and candidates during filing of nomination papers for the elections.

It may also be pointed out that the United States has once again refuted the allegations levelled by Prime Minister Imran Khan that it was seeking a regime change in Pakistan by supporting opposition parties’ no-confidence move against him.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in response to a question at a daily press briefing on Tuesday that there was absolutely no truth to the allegation and that the US supports the peaceful upholding of the constitutional democratic principles in Pakistan.

The circumstances demand the Supreme Court may get briefing from officials concerned but the bench concerned has declined to do so apparently because of the fact that it would be time consuming and there was need for an early judgement to clear the prevailing political and constitutional confusion.

The court must address the issue in the spirit of supremacy and inviolability of the Constitution and rule of law as the system would collapse if blanket cover is given to interpret the Constitution to protect or safeguard vested interests as well as personal and party agenda.

Justice demands reversal of all unconstitutional and illegal actions if the action of the Deputy Speaker is found to be in violation of the Constitution.

It would be unjust not to penalize the violators or grant relief to the aggrieved parties.

There is already scant respect for the law and the Constitution as highlighted by statement made by Punjab Advocate General Awais Ahmed before the SC bench on Tuesday that Usman Buzdar, whose resignation has already been accepted by the Governor, would continue as the Chief Minister till the election of a new chief executive of the province.

 

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