Lifetime disqualification can curb horse-trading: AGP Khalid Javed Khan

By
Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath
Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan. Photo: Twitter
 Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan. Photo: Twitter
  • AGP says penalty for crossing floor should not be one-time disqualification if Article 63A is read with Article 62.
  • Says floor-crossing is not only illegal but also an immoral act.
  • Says those not fulfilling Article 62 (1)(f) criterion stand disqualified for life as interpreted by Supreme Court.


ISLAMABAD: Disqualifying lawmakers for life could clamp down horse-trading, a curse that the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan has termed as cancer, Attorney-General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan expressed on Geo News programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath.

After the government filed the presidential reference for the interpretation of Article 63A in the Supreme Court to deal with alleged horse-trading amid defections of ruling PTI members in large numbers and the party seemingly losing control, AGP Khan said that floor-crossing is not only illegal but also an immoral act.

"Penalty for crossing floor should not be one-time disqualification if Article 63A is read with Article 62," he said, contending that those not fulfilling the Article 62 (1)(f) criterion stand disqualified for life as interpreted by the SC.

Therefore, a parliamentarian crossing floor should be considered to have lost the qualities stated in Article 62 (1)(f) if Article 63A is to be made effective, AGP Khan said.

As per the attorney general, the two questions — is Article 63A an isolated provision of the Constitution or is it part of the larger scheme that includes Article 62 (1)(f) — is the government's case in the apex court.

So far, the attorney general said, these two questions have not been interpreted in any case, adding that such an interpretation would not only be for the sitting government but also for the entire political process.

He said that if the conscience of a parliamentarian awakens, he should resign and seek reelection. Article 63A does not apply to the government’s allies, he concluded.

'Not everything is for money'

Meanwhile, PTI dissident Ahmad Hussain Dehr said the parliamentarians are yet to be allocated funds. In such a state of affairs, how the government can accuse the dissidents of accepting money to leave the party, he asked.

He said the prime minister should tell him how much money he spent on winning the loyalty of seven PML-N MPs six months ago. He said everything is not for money. He neither went to the Sindh House nor met the opposition leaders. He said the prime minister doesn’t listen to their problems and he only recalls them when he needs their votes. Dehr said he donated four Kanals worth Rs40 million to the Rescue 1122 a month ago. He said it is a matter of prestige, not politics or government.

"Who is responsible if mischievous elements attack them after being misguided by the prime minister? These people stormed the house of a woman MNA where her daughters were present there. Can a father direct his supporters to intrude into the house of his daughter?" Dehr asked.

He said he still stands by the prime minister and never announced quitting the party.

Some people think they can treat others like dogs: Nooor Alam

PTI dissident Noor Alam Khan said they are political people who do not earn enmities. He said he would move court against the abusive language being used against him. He lamented that some people think that they can treat people like Shairoo (Imran’s dog) and if people had not been treated like Shairoo, the situation would have been different. He thanked the chief justice of Pakistan for giving the remarks that the court would not stop any member from voting in the assembly.

'Stability a must to steer Pakistan in right direction'

PTI dissident Ramesh Kumar said stability is a must to steer Pakistan in the right direction. He said there are 35 dissidents who have reservations about the government. He said he put up all issues before the prime minister, but nothing was done for the welfare of the minorities. He said three or four of the dissidents were elected on reserved seats while the remaining are all senior politicians. No dissident would rejoin the PTI.

If there is the issue of life-time disqualification, they would prefer contesting elections again, he added.