Pakistan is once again facing a political crisis with Prime Minister Imran Khan and his PTI-led government raising the temperature instead of calming things down.
As an editorial in the Dawn noted, it appears that “the government may take steps that could inject complications into what is a fairly straightforward constitutional process. Fearing that a significant number of his own MNAs might be ready to vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan, cabinet ministers have been peddling a strange logic according to which the National Assembly speaker can disqualify such members even before they vote, or bar them from voting. He can do neither. Yet such is the confusion being spread by seemingly responsible people that the ruling party and its supporters have internalised this misplaced logic as narrative. Legal experts have clarified that every MNA’s right to vote is protected by the Constitution and he or she cannot be stopped from exercising this right.”
As the editorial points out, “The disqualification clause is equally clear. If the member crosses the floor by casting the vote against their party, they are liable to be disqualified. If he or she is fine with taking this risk, that too is a right that can be exercised. For the ruling party to mangle this simple process by peddling wrong interpretations is not only unfortunate, it is also dangerous if it can lead to obstructing a constitutionally valid process.”
Even when it appears that the government is on its last legs, instead of speaking the truth it appears to continue to spread falsehoods.