PAT joins opposition bandwagon, files reference seeking PM’s disqualification
The reference which was submitted in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) also included an attached copy of the FIR of the Model Town Lahore incident in which 14 people were killed and over 100 others injured.
It maintained the stance that the premier had concealed the assets and tax returns of his family members which was later revealed in the Panama Papers. Therefore, the Prime Minister was ineligible under the Representation of the People Act, 1976. It pointed clauses 12, 88, and 99 and said that the Prime Minister already stands disqualified under it.
It also said that the concealment of personal assets and tax evasion was tantamount to high treason against the state, which was dealt under Article 6 under the Constitution of Pakistan and stipulates a maximum death penalty for the severe offence.
The reference also said that the Prime Minister did not meet the requirements of Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution which requires him to be Sadiq and Ameen (honest and truthful). It said that the premier had not submitted complete details of his personal assets and wealth and had instead stashed them in foreign countries.
This has raised questions about the loyalty of the premier to the state which also violated Article 5 of the Constitution of Pakistan which stipulates that loyalty to the state and obedience to constitution and law is the basic duty of every citizen of Pakistan
The reference was filed by the representative of PAT lawyer’s wing Ishatiaq Ahmed Chaudhry on behalf of Nawaz Gandapur.
Earlier, separate references have been filed by the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) seeking the disqualification of the Prime Minister, who is currently in the United Kingdom recuperating after a heart surgery.
The opposition parties have expressed disappointment over the deadlock in a joint government-opposition committee over terms of reference (ToRs) which was supposed to pave way for launching an investigation against the Prime Minister after the names of his family members surfaced in the Panama Papers.