Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb addresses a press conference in Islamabad on July 15, 2022. —  YouTube/PTVNewsLive
  • Information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb says federal cabinet welcomes Supreme Court’s judgment.
  • Says committee formed to deliberate over filing Article 6 reference against PTI leaders.
  • Commission to be formed to probe allegations of Tayyaba Gul, information minister adds.

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Friday approved the formation of a committee which will deliberate whether treason proceedings under Article 6 should be initiated against PTI’s top leadership, including the party’s chairman, Imran Khan.

In a post-cabinet meeting press conference, Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb said the cabinet approved the formation of a committee under Minister for Law Azam Nazeer Tarar.

The information minister said the cabinet, which met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair, welcomed the Supreme Court’s detailed judgment in a suo motu case related to the ruling by former National Assembly deputy speaker Qasim Suri on the no-confidence motion against then-PM Khan.

On April 3, before voting could commence against Khan, Suri dismissed the vote, describing it as “unconstitutional”, and backed by “foreign powers”.

The SC’s detailed judgment, however, rejected PTI’s foreign conspiracy claims and said the courts give verdicts on evidence, not speculations.

The court noted that no inquiry was ordered into the matter to ascertain the nature or extent of involvement of any person in Pakistan to seek or receive the support of a foreign state to move the no-confidence motion.

Moreover, in an additional note, Justice Mazahar Alam Khan Miankhel observed that President Arif Alvi, then PM Khan, then NA speaker Asad Qaiser, ex-deputy speaker Suri, and former law minister Fawad Chaudhry had violated their authority, and left it up to the parliamentarians to decide whether their acts could be prosecuted under Article 6.

“A special committee has been formed under the chairmanship of law minister Azam Nazeer Tarar […] which will present its suggestions in the next meeting of the federal cabinet,” said Aurangzeb in her briefing today.

Tayyaba Gul case

Talking about Tayyaba Gul, who has claimed that she was asked to stay at the Prime Minister’s House for nearly 20 days during Khan’s tenure, Aurangzeb said a commission has been formed to probe the matter.

“The PM’s Office contacted Tayyaba Gul, and according to her, she was abducted and held captive at the PM’s House for 18 days,” the information minister said.

Aurangzeb said Gul had launched a complaint on the PM’s Portal, but instead of listening to her complaints related to sexual harassment and sexual abuse, the woman was called to the PM’s House and “held captive”.

Gul, who has accused former NAB chief Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal of sexual harassment, has alleged that former premier Khan used her videos to have his National Accountability Bureau cases closed and blackmailed the then-opposition.

She has claimed that NAB turned against her when she refused to join Iqbal in a flat.

Gul alleges when she lodged a complaint on the prime minister’s portal, she was called by then principal secretary Azam Khan to the PM’s House.

The information minister said the PM’s Office, through these tactics, “compromised” a national institution.

“In light of all these claims, approval has been given to form an independent and transparent commission under the Commission of Inquiries Act, 2017,” Aurangzeb said.

The information minister said the law minister has been directed to come up with the terms of reference, the chairman of the commission, and the name of the panel members, and furnish them before the cabinet.

“Since this will be formed under the Commission of Inquiries Act, 2017, it will be time bound and the commission will decide how much time the probe can take,” she said.

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