Home Latest News Bilawal Seeks Trials for Violators of the Constitution

Bilawal Seeks Trials for Violators of the Constitution

Foreign minister says time has come to inform the public about the reasons for the crises prevailing in Pakistan

by Staff Report

Photo courtesy National Assembly

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday questioned why Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had not prosecuted former prime minister Imran Khan, former deputy speaker Qasim Khan Suri and President Arif Alvi for allegedly violating the Constitution.

Speaking in the National Assembly ahead of voting on a bill curtailing the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s unilateral powers to take suo motu notices, he maintained that the Supreme Court had ruled that Khan, Suri and Alvi had “broken the Constitution” in a bid to avoid Khan’s ouster through a vote of no-confidence. “What did Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif do in response to this?” he questioned. “If the Constitution and law have been broken, file a case,” he demanded.

Stressing that while Pakistan had faced several democratic constitutional crises and faced dictators, Bhutto-Zardari acknowledged that the prevailing challenges were especially harrowing. “Pakistan is facing historical inflation and economic crisis; the increasing pressure on the world economy during the Russia-Ukraine war and coronavirus pandemic is not in our hands,” he said, adding that terrorists had “played” with the blood of Pakistanis for years for which the former prime minister had pardoned them and brought them back for resettlement.

Slamming the ousted PTI-led government, he maintained that undemocratic things were done in response to every constitutional initiative, and the Constitution was broken in response to democratic distrust. “We continued to do politics of the nobles, but this cannot happen with the Constitution,” he said. It was time, he emphasized, for the public to be informed why the country was in the midst of crises. Noting that the former Army chief had admitted to interfering in politics, he said no child of a dictator should have any political future. “What is the reason that the children of all dictators are in Tehreek-e-Insaaf today?” he asked.

Detailing the PTI’s collusion with military interference in politics, he said that Gen. Hameed Gul had supported Khan in 1996, followed by Gen. Pasha, Gen. Zaheerul Islam, and Gen. Faiz Hameed. “Dictatorship in the Supreme Court was started by [former CJP] Iftikhar Chaudhry,” he said, adding the ex-CJP had been part of the “hybrid war” against democratic forces. Khan was a product of this, he claimed, accusing the PTI chief of seeking an “end of the Constitution.”

“General Pasha, General Islam, and General Faiz are all remembered. In our institutions, Einsteins sit and create plans and strategic assets,” he said, adding that the government then had to spend billions clearing up the messes left by their leftovers.

Stressing that the ruling coalition had not taken any undemocratic step by expelling an “undemocratic prime minister,” he said it was inappropriate to remain silent just for the sake of democracy. “The nation must be told why such situations have happened,” he stressed.

In an apparent reference to the Supreme Court, he lamented that an institution had been involved in conspiracies against two prime ministers and Parliament had decided to respond with the legislation to curb the powers of the CJP. “We were blackmailed in the process of bringing in the 19th Amendment,” he said, adding that then-CJP Chaudhry had threatened to strike down the 18th Amendment if it were not passed.

At the conclusion of his speech, the foreign minister—who is also the head of the PPP—offered a fig leaf, saying that once the current era of polarization had come to its conclusion, everyone would have to sit together “with those we do not like” to take the country forward.

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