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Friday, April 19, 2024  
09 Shawwal 1445  

Former president Alvi laughs off demand for treason trial against him

Says he adhered to Constitution as president
Whoever got the mandate in country should be valued: Dr Arif Alvi - Aaj News

When several reporters asked former president Arif Alvi about the rival politicians’ demand for initiating a treason prosecution against him, he laughed off and said: “Welcome, start the trial”.

He said this while addressing his first press conference after stepping down as the 13th president of Pakistan in Karachi, his hometown.

Alvi belongs to former prime minister Imran Khan’s party. In the past, some of the members of PTI have been wary of his decisions and abilities to not hold elections in the country despite the Supreme Court’s order fixing May 14 as the date for elections to the Punjab Assembly.

But the former president tried to block some of the attempts of the multi-party confab during its 16-month rule and when the National Assembly session was to be summoned for the newly elected lawmakers after general elections on February 8.

Several leaders of the PML-N in the past have demanded that Alvi should be tried under Article 6 (high treason) of the Constitution for his apparent loyalty to a political party. A leader from the same party, Khawaja Asif, was the latest to make such demands.

Last month, he told reporters outside Parliament that the former president should be tried for high treason because of allegedly violating the law twice.

At the presser, Alvi did not take such demands seriously as when a reporter while quoting some of the PML-N, PPP and their allies said that he supported all unconstitutional work, he said: “Very good” and tried to shrug off such a suggestion.

“Fine. If these are people’s allegations, there are courts and approach it that I did not administer the oath and say whatever can happen with that,” he said and laughed at it. “If a case has to be tried under Article 6, so welcome, have it.”

He claimed that as a president he adhered to the Constitution and did what he considered appropriate.

Alvi, once considered a close confidant of Khan, stated that he was not a legal expert and acted as per the best suggestion he received. “Even the court in its majority judgement did not mention anything about Article 6 and despite that, if someone wants a case under Article 6 then the matter is open.”

 Former president Arif Alvi addresses a press conference in Karachi on March 10, 2024. Screengrab via YouTube/Channel 24
Former president Arif Alvi addresses a press conference in Karachi on March 10, 2024. Screengrab via YouTube/Channel 24

Appointment of army chief: ‘Imran Khan said merit should be the preference’

He was also asked about his attempts to end the fissures between Imran Khan and the establishment that started with the appointment of an army chief as the former wanted to have the-then spymaster General (retd) Faiz Hameed and the latter wanted to follow the army protocol.

“I solemnly swear that and I don’t say that easily that whenever I spoke to Khan Sb, he never spoke about his preference, especially, he used to send me messages that make it clear to everyone whoever asks a question to you that he has no preference and merit should be the preference.”

Cipher: ‘Yes I saw it’

A reporter also asked him whether he had seen the cypher, which the former PTI chairman waved in front of his supporters before the no-confidence vote in April 2022 and presented as “proof” the US had been part of a conspiracy behind his fall from power for his “Russia trip and not compromising on the foreign policy.”

But, the US has time and again rejected such allegations.

Earlier this year, a special court established under the Official Secrets Act jailed Khan and his foreign minister to 10 years in jail each for leaking official secrets.

Alvi while responding to the query mentioned the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

It states that if the prime minister comes across any secret or anything he/she would judge whether he/she can make it public if it was in the public interest. “So I think Imran Khan said on that basis.”

When asked did you see the cypher, he said: “Yes, the cypher was sent to me. Yes, I saw it.”

Also, read this

Arif Alvi signs off with last X post as president of Pakistan

Asif Ali Zardari takes oath as president of Pakistan for second term

Imran Khan backs Corps Commanders’ statement on May 9 riots probe

Reconciliation: ‘Tried and tested prescription’

He stressed the need for ending tensions with anyone, citing that the best solution was reconciliation like the country saw it during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Alvi, the country was able to perform better as compared to other countries because the civilians and the army were united against it and everyone worked together.

“This is a tried and tested prescription where Pakistan achieved victories.”

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