ISLAMABAD: Former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry demanded a thorough investigation against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan for what he called wasting 126 days of the nation through his party’s Islamabad sit-in and vilifying democratic institutions of the country.
“I will not say a single word against the PTI because it consists of respectable politicians and intellectuals like retired Justice Wajhiuddin Ahmed and many others. I believe the party has nothing to do whatever allegations Imran Khan has levelled against my person or the country’s institutions,” the former chief justice said while addressing a press conference at his Islamabad residence on Monday.
He parried a direct question that when he was launching his political party and said that he would make an announcement on Dec 25 in this regard when after retirement two-year bar on him would end.
The former chief justice’s press conference came after the three-judge inquiry commission rejected PTI’s allegations of rigging in the 2013 general elections.
In a 237-page report, the commission headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk has concluded that despite lapses on part of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the 2013 general elections were in large part organised and conducted fairly.
“I am not asking the government but the state, as defined under Article 7 of the Constitution to consider holding a detail inquiry to reach to a logical conclusion otherwise it will become a precedence that every now and then someone will gather few people to stage a protest demonstration outside the parliament house,” Mr Iftikhar Chaudhry said.
On the contrary, he added, the government of the day would be answerable to people if it kept silent and did nothing against those who wasted the time and money of the nation, kept the economy hostage, made the parliament where a joint sitting was going on as well as the Supreme Court dysfunctional by blocking the Constitution Avenue, maligned parliamentarians, attacked the PTV building and used violence which caused loss of some lives.
He said the actions of the PTI chief amounted to subversion of the Constitution and attracted Article 6.
During his party’s sit-in at the capital D-Chowk, the former chief justice said, Imran Khan slandered him for 115 times. “Imran Khan has taken undue advantage of his position as a party chief without even taking his associates into confidence only to malign the institution of the judiciary and judges of the lower judiciary and he has failed to prove even a single allegation despite coming up with thousands of pages before the inquiry commission.”
Citing his April 14 application, the former chief justice said he had voluntarily offered to appear before the inquiry commission to rebut allegations against him of having a role in the alleged rigging and even face a cross-examination by the PTI legal team.
Referring to the PTI chief’s demand of opening four constituencies in Punjab, Mr Iftikhar Chaudhry said that Imran Khan never moved a direct petition, rather he moved a miscellaneous application in the Watan Party case in which the Supreme Court had asked for conducting election reforms. He said it was the election tribunals which under the Constitution had jurisdiction to give decisions about election disputes.
The former chief justice brushed aside the impression that the findings of the inquiry commission had become controversial. He reminded that the commission was not formed under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1956, rather through an ordinance after an understanding between PML-N and PTI was reached.