Imran Khan, and by extension the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf has openly advocated for implementing Articles 62 and 63 of the Pakistani Constitution across the board, which he hopes would disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for lying to the public and the parliament. Article 62 sets the conditions of who is eligible to participate in parliament, while Article 63 establishes what warrants a disqualification.
But if the articles were to be enforced in letter and spirit, apart from the obvious markers such as age limitations, all lawmakers would need to be “of good character” have “adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings…. as well as abstain from major sins” and finally also be “sagacious, righteous... honest and ameen”. With these lofty standards in place, it is doubtful that anyone would qualify for a seat in parliament, let alone many of the esteemed lawmakers that currently represent the people.
The sad fact is that parliamentarians use fibs as a political tactic all the time. Lawmakers across the world have made a profession out of treading the fine line between an overt lie, and what can be termed as a misinformed statement – they rely on the fact that the public has a short memory. PTI politicians are no different themselves, with unfounded allegations often coming in from PTI against all other parties. With many of these having been debunked over time, is the PTI chief really advocating setting a bar even he can’t ascend over?
The Prime Minister is not out of dangerous waters yet; it is true that many of the family’s statements do not add up. But as the judges in the Supreme Court have remarked, there is a vast difference between simple misgivings against the official narrative of the London properties versus cold hard evidence of open wrong doing, and off-the-cuff remarks compared to an open lie – proving the latter (in both cases) is the only real reason for demanding an elected Prime Minister to be removed. Discrepancies cannot transform themselves into established facts that point in the direction of the Sharif family’s corruption – and unless PTI’s legal representatives cannot prove that the Prime Minister is actually guilty of a crime, there might not be much the Supreme Court commission can do.