Fazlur Rehman should be tried under Article 6, says PM Imran

Updated February 14, 2020


Prime Minister Imran Khan held an informal conversation with media. — Photo courtesy screengrab from APP video
Prime Minister Imran Khan held an informal conversation with media. — Photo courtesy screengrab from APP video

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday called for treason proceedings against Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for remarks regarding the ouster of the government.

"There should be a case under Article 6 against maulana for his statement regarding the ousting of the government," he said, during an informal conversation with journalists.

"The government will complete its term, it's not going anywhere," Prime Minister Imran added.

Earlier this week, Rehman said that he had ended his Azadi sit-in because he had been given assurances that Prime Minister Imran will step down and elections will be held in three months. The JUI-F had staged a 13-day (from Nov 1 to 13, 2019) sit-in on Kashmir Road in Islamabad that came to an abrupt end as the party chief announced going for Plan B, blocking various major roads across the country.

Rehman did not say where the assurance came from, and analysts are of the view that throughout the JUI-F protest and dharna there was no indication that the PTI government was vulnerable or it may agree to the JUI-F’s demand for re-elections.

The premier, in his conversation today, also commented on the countrywide shortage of wheat and sugar and revealed that there has been an investigation in the matter.

"The names of Jahangir Tareen and Khusro Bakhtiar did not crop up in the initial investigation," he said. "Let's see how the opposition reacts to this."

The premier added that the initial report was incomplete and has been sent back with 20 questions, promising that the findings of the investigation will be disclosed before the public.

Opposition lawmakers have repeatedly demanded that senior PTI leaders Tareen and Bakhtiar be probed for the recent sugar crisis as they own mills.

The prime minister also criticised the media today, during his meeting with journalists, saying, "I have suffered more media attacks in the past two years than anyone else."

"I have never given Saudi Arabia or China's example with regards to media," he insisted. "I have always talked about Britain as an example in terms of media. Over there, if any [media house] publishes false news or a false allegation, it is shut down."

He lamented that "even his statements were changed" by the media. Specifically, the premier said "false news" was published about his visit to China, due to which "we faced a lot of embarrassment in China".

He also defended the government's decision to seek aid from Saudi Arabia, UAE and China, saying that the country would have defaulted if they had not helped.

'Container talk'

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif condemned Prime Minister Imran's statement regarding Rehman saying, "Maulana Fazlur Rehman is the son of the great man who wrote the Constitution."

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb also lashed out at the premier and said: "Mr Imran could have respected the Turkish president's visit and avoided container talk for one day".

Additional input by Javed Iqbal.