PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Monday lashed out at Prime Minister Imran Khan for imposing “civilian martial law” in the country, terming his move “unconstitutional”.
Addressing a press conference, flanked by PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and JUI-F leader Asad Mehmood, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, BNP-M Chief Akhtar Mengal and others, he said that PM Imran, along with his party members, have blatantly challenged the Constitution of Pakistan.
“April 3 will be remembered as a black day in the history of Pakistan,” he said, adding that PM Imran imposed civilian martial law, while General Pervez Musharraf also took a similar unconstitutional decision on November 3, 2007.
He termed the four-year tenure of the former PTI-led government a period of “an individual government, totalitarian and fascist.”
On March 24, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser granted leave to the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran, according to the will of the House.
Recalling Sunday’s ruling of the NA deputy speaker regarding the no-confidence motion, he said “if Qasim Suri termed the motion as ‘unconstitutional’, why wasn’t the issue raised earlier?”
“PTI used Article 5 to prevent themselves from the embarrassment that they would have faced after their defeat in case of voting on the no-confidence motion,” Shahbaz said.
Regarding the “foreign threat letter” controversy, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly said that Pakistan’s Ambassador Asad Majeed hosted a farewell dinner on March 16 and invited all US officials, even those who were accused by PM Imran.”
Moreover, in his tweet, Asad Majeed thanked Donald Lu over good relations and cooperation.
“If the letter was dated March 7 and highlighted the involvement of Donald Lu, why was the ambassador acknowledging the US official during the dinner on March 16,” he highlighted, questioning why Lu was invited for the dinner if had threatened Pakistan.
The PML-N leader said that if they had received the “foreign letter” on March 7, then “why did they not highlight this issue earlier.”
“According to the speech given by the NA deputy speaker, all opposition leaders became traitors,” he said, adding that yesterday’s NA proceedings made a joke of the constitution of Pakistan, laws and Parliament.
Regarding former information minister Fawad Chaudhry’s claims about challenging the speaker’s ruling, Shehbaz said: “It is right that no one can challenge the proceedings of the House but the Constitution was blatantly violated, does it have any protection?”
He said that the matter is in the Supreme Court and hence, “I will not talk much about it.”
BILAWAL: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said: “PM Khan sabotaged the constitution to satisfy his ego”.
He said that PM Khan has no idea what happened.
He said that the responsibility of protecting the constitution lies on the people of Pakistan and not just the parties.
Bilawal said that PPP workers and supporters are happy that the rule of the “selected” government has finally ended; however, he said that political parties will never be happy if extra-constitutional steps are taken because “we abide by the laws of the constitution.”
“PM Imran Khan, President Arif Alvi, NA speaker and deputy speaker have all broken the laws in order to protect the ego of the premier,” he said, urging the people to decide what is more important the “constitution or PM Imran Khan’s ego.”
Speaking about his grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he said that today [April 4] is the day when he was assassinated, and the PPP has not been able to get justice on this issue.
He said that the Supreme Court did not take notice of the martial laws imposed by General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf but “we do hope that the SC takes notice of the unconstitutional act of PM Imran Khan.”
“We request the judiciary to form a full-court bench for this critical situation,” he requested, adding that the judiciary’s decision will determine the fate of the country.
Moreover, the PPP chairman said that if they want to hang them to death they can but before that, they should allow voting on a no-confidence motion.
“If we are unable to implement the laws according to the Constitution in the National Assembly then we won’t be able to do it in the country,” he maintained.
JUI-F: “Yesterday [April 3] was the darkest day in the history of Pakistan,” JUI-F leader Maulana Asad Mahmood said, adding that PM Imran Khan is trying to pressurise the institutions.
Mahmood said that they [the joint Opposition] will not accept international pressure being imposed under the guise of a “threat letter”.
He suggested that the higher courts of Pakistan hold him PM Khan accountable for his statements regarding the credibility of judges.