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Disqualification References

22 June, 2007

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The National Assembly speaker has sent two disqualification references against Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan to the Election Commission under article 62-63 of the constitution.

The references filed by the Muttehida Quami Movement (MQM) members and federal minister for parliamentary affairs, Dr Sher Afghan Niazi charged that Mr Khan, who has recently appeared a strong critic of President general Pervez Musharraf and the MQM, has had illicit relations with an American woman, Sita White, and is father of an illicit child.

In response to these references, the opposition members have also submitted the disqualification reference against Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and demanded the speaker to send it to Election Commission within 30 days.

A reference, signed by 31 opposition members, stated that prime minister is not eligible for Assembly membership under articles 62 and 63 of the constitution.

According to a charge framed in the reference, prime minister had caused stock market crisis through his front man Arif Habib and earned the money by illegal means.

Privatization of Steel Mills also mentioned in the reference and stated that the verdict of the Supreme Court in this connection is sufficient for disqualification of the prime minister.

Political observers believe that the ongoing blame-game will take the rival politicians to nowhere, and will open a new Pandora-box. They think that if personal life of Imran Khan is discussed then the same formula can be applied on several treasury members, including President General Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz ( who has recently been blamed for trying to seduce US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice), MNA Shahid Jameel, who is being tried for murdering his Canadian National friend, Kafila Sidduqi, who had been living with him for two years, MNA, Kashmala Tariq, who too is notorious for her friendships, and others.

Here are some questions
1) Is this justified to discuss the personal life of politicians?
2) Is Imran Khan the only black sheep in the parliament?
3) Is this a pressure tactic against Imran, who has been vocal against MQM?
4) Where will the politics of blame-game leave us?

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