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Govt to approach Supreme Court to seek clarity on Article 63(A): Fawad Chaudhry

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  • Fawad Chaudhry says SC will be requested to hear case daily.
  • PM Imran Khan says will take decisions to curb horse-trading.
  • He rules out “minus one”policy to save PTI govt.

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to approach the Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 63-A as several PTI lawmakers have announced to vote on the no-trust motion, in a violation of the party policy, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Friday.

The decision was taken during a consultative meeting of the PTI’s political committee held today with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.

The meeting was convened to discuss the legal options available to act against the disgruntled lawmakers and counter the Opposition’s move to dislodge the government of Imran Khan.

It came to light Thursday that around 24 PTI MNAs were residing at the Sindh House in Islamabad — and some of them had publicly announced to go against the party.

Hours later, the prime minister called a meeting of the senior party leadership and directed National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against the disgruntled members.

In a series of tweets today, Fawad Chaudhry said the government would file a petition under Article 186 of the Constitution to seek the interpretation of Article 63-A.

“… we will seek the Supreme Court’s interpretation as to what will be the standing of a party member’s vote who is found in violation of the party’s policy and is involved in horsetrading,” the federal minister said.

The information minister said the government would seek the apex court’s guidance on whether a person, who shifts loyalty for monetary benefit, should be ineligible for a lifetime for becoming a lawmaker or whether they could contest polls again and be elected to parliament.

“The Supreme Court will be requested to hear the case on a daily basis,” he said.

The prime minister, according to sources, assigned the responsibility for filing the reference in the apex court to PTI Additional Secretary Amir Mahmood Kiani and Adviser to Prime Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan.

“We will take such decisions that no one will be able to indulge in horsetrading next  time,” the prime minister told the participants.

The premier also directed the PTI leaders present in the meeting to ramp up the preparations for the March 27 rally — where the ruling party plans on gathering one million people, a day before the voting on the no-trust motion.

“All the lawmakers and party members should participate,” he said.

“No matter how much money they spend to remove me, I will fight them,” he said.

‘Will not impose governor’s rule in Sindh’

Moreover, the prime minister, according to sources, decided against taking extreme measures and announced that the federal government will not impose the governor’s rule in Sindh.

‘We will not impose governor’s rule in Sindh,” he said.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed had a day earlier proposed the premier take the step in order to stop “horsetrading” taking place at the Sindh House.

During the meeting, the majority of the participants opposed the move after the interior minister presented a summary in this regard.

“Only two federal ministers backed the idea,” sources said.

The PM, however, directed to deliberate further on the issue, saying the situation will deteriorate further by imposing the governor’s rule.

‘No minus one’

PM Imran Khan also said that some people were talking about a “minus one” policy.

“This cannot happen in any scenario.”

“Fortunately, they are requesting […] this will boost our morale,” he said, after MQM-P and PML-Q proposed a “minus Imran Khan” formula in a bid to save the PTI-led government.

Pakistan

Bushra Bibi challenges the Nikah case’s verdict in court.

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According to specifics, Bushra Bibi’s attorney, Khalid Yousaf Chaudhry, entered a plea on her behalf, requesting that the trial court’s decision from February 3 be deemed invalid.

Salman Akram Raja, Salman Safdar, and other individuals will also be parties in this action, while Bushra Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka and the federal government have been named respondents in the plea.

According to the plea, the former first lady went to her mother’s house in August 2017 after divorcing in April.

Furthermore, the ruling is unlawful, immoral, and un-Islamic because the matter pertaining to Bushra Bibi and Khan’s nikah was outside the court’s jurisdiction.

In a case concerning their marriage during the latter’s Iddat era, a court in Islamabad earlier this year condemned former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi to seven years in prison apiece.

The decision on the lawsuit submitted by Bushra’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka in a temporary court at Adiala jail was announced by senior civil judge Qudratullah. The pair was also fined Rs 500,000 apiece by the court.

Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan’s marriage
In February 2018, the former prime minister married Bushra Bibi in Lahore.

Only the bride’s mother and other close relatives and friends were present for the ceremony. The sisters of the PTI founder, however, were not present.

Former SAPM Zulfi Bukhari and Awn Chaudhary, leaders of the Pakitan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), were present when Mufti Saeed conducted the nikah.

Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka had petitioned the court last year, arguing that the marriage was unlawful and in violation of Sharia law.

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Pakistan

Excuses from Adiala Jail to let Imran’s spouse Bushra due to security concerns

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Bushra Bibi’s appeal was heard by Justice Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb; however, the Adiala Jail administration denied Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred to the jail on Thursday. Superintendent Adiala Jail filed his report with the court.

Bushra Bibi’s attorney, Usman Gul, arrived in court.

The jail supervisor stated that there is not enough room for extra female inmates at the jail—250 women are now incarcerated—and that Bushra Bibi cannot be sent there for security concerns.

The Chief Commissioner of Islamabad has not yet responded.

To give time to respond, the prosecutor asked for it. The plea was accepted by the court, and the hearing was postponed for two weeks.

Bushra Bibi, the spouse of Maulvi Khan, was taken into custody by the women’s police from Adiala jail after she made a request over the Toshkahana reference case.

In December 2023, Bushra Bibi, the wife of former prime minister Imran Khan, received a final call-up notice from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) requiring her to appear before the Rawalpindi office in Islamabad on December 11 in relation to the Toshakhana case.

According to the notice, Bushra Bibi accepted presents from foreign dignitaries totaling millions of rupees while Imran Khan was prime minister, going against the protocol that is in place for managing such gifts.

She maintained two rings, a set of bracelets, a pair of earrings, and a locket with chain in 2019, according to NAB.

She kept a ring, earrings, bracelet, necklace, and ring in 2020.

She reportedly disregarded the legal need to deposit a wristwatch, earrings, rings, and a necklace with chain that she got in 2021 in the Toshakhana.

Along with the previously stated materials, the anti-graft committee has asked Bushra Bibi to come before them in order to address any queries and offer clarifications on the subject.

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Pakistan

Cabinet meeting to be called by interim prime minister today

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The caretaker federal cabinet will convene today under the direction of caretaker Prime Minister (PM) Anwarul Haq Kakar.

Today at noon, the supervisory federal cabinet will begin its meeting, during which the state of the nation will be examined.

In addition to discussing the nation’s economic and security conditions, the Cabinet will extend the DG Financial Monitoring’s mandate by a year.

The permission of hiring a drug inspector will be discussed during the cabinet meeting, along with the ratification of the rulings made by the Cabinet Committee for the Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) and the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).

Prior to this, the status of the civilian intelligence organisation Intelligence Bureau (IB) was altered by Caretaker Prime Minister Kakar.

The announcement states that the IB’s status was upgraded from bureaucracy to division by the acting prime minister. Director General (DG) IB Fawad Asadullah made particular efforts to ratify the change of status.

The Intelligence Bureau was divided into a division with the agreement of the acting prime minister. This move was made to streamline the bureau’s financial and administrative operations.

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