Pakistan Supreme Court to hear petition seeking PM Imran Khan’s disqualification
Islamabad, Sept 21: Pakistan is known for his history of disqualifying prime ministers, who though is a democratically elected chief executive, but often fails to match the influence of other power centres in the country's politics and bow out. Even in the last one decade when Pakistan's democracy witnessed a comparatively stable phase, there have occurred two instances where a premier was disqualified by the judiciary. Even a prominent politician like Nawaz Sharif could not evade such an eventuality.
Is Imran Khan, Pakistan's popular cricketer-turned-politician who took oath as the country's 22nd prime minister in August, also about to face a similar experience? According to a report published in Pakistan's major daily Dawn on Friday, September 21, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar is set to take yp a petition next week seeking Khan's disqualification.
The petition was filed by one Barrister Danyal Chaudhry in May 2017 soon after the Supreme Court set up a six-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe allegations of corruption against former prime minister Sharif. Chaudhry sought a special oath to the JIT members for shielding them against getting influenced by the speeches of Khan, the report added.
The petition had requested the court to stop Khan, 65, from engaging in activities that could influence the JIT members for his speeches and press releases could affect the investigation. It also expressed fear that if the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief did not refrain himself from issuing political statements, it could eventually hurt the country's democratic functioning.
Besides, the petition also appealed to the apex court to ask the country's electronic media regulatory authority (Pemra) to curb airing of any material which could hurt Pakistan's national interest, the Dawn report added.
It said it was because of the PTI's demonstrations in 2014 that Chinese President Xi Jinping deferred his Pakistan visit and that allegedly jeopardised various projects related to the much hyped China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It said it was because of the turmoil Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves also took a beating.
'Love child' also on agenda
Besides accusing Khan of making allegations against different institutions and hurting the country's federal democratic functioning, the petition also sought his disqualification for not disclosing his alleged love child Teriyan White while filing his nomination for this year's general elections in July.