Pakistan Defence Minister Sparks Outrage with Call to Exhume Ex-Dictator's Body

Pakistan's Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif sparked outrage by calling for the exhumation and hanging of former dictator Field Marshal Ayub Khan's body, citing Article 6 of the Constitution. The opposition benches erupted in protest, with NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq calling for order amid the commotion.

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Pakistan Defence Minister Sparks Outrage with Call to Exhume Ex-Dictator's Body

Pakistan Defence Minister Sparks Outrage with Call to Exhume Ex-Dictator's Body

In a dramatic turn of events in Pakistan's National Assembly on Monday, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif sparked outrage from opposition lawmakers by calling for the exhumation and hanging of former military dictator Field Marshal Ayub Khan's ex, body, violation. Asif cited Article 6 of the Constitution, which pertains to high treason, as justification for his controversial demand.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the deep-seated political divisions and tensions in Pakistan, which can have far-reaching implications for the country's stability and democratic institutions. The demand for accountability and adherence to constitutional principles also underscores the need for a functioning and impartial judiciary in Pakistan.

The defence minister's remarks came in response to points raised by Opposition Leader Omar Ayub, who is also the grandson of Ayub Khan and Secretary General of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Asif stated, "In this scenario, the body of false Field Marshall Ayub Khan should also be dug out and hanged as per the article-6." He added that "Individuals who violated the Constitution, dissolved the assembly, and obstructed the passage of no-confidence motions should also face Article 6 proceedings."

The opposition benches erupted in protest following Asif's comments, with NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq calling for order amid the commotion. Omar Ayub dismissed allegations linking PTI to the May 9 riots that targeted military installations following the arrest of deposed Prime Minister Imran Khan. He reiterated the party's demand for a commission to investigate the events.

Earlier in the session, Omar Ayub emphasized the importance of upholding democratic principles, stating, "Every institution has its limits and all institutions take care of their limits." He criticized the recent press conference by the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry, who had demanded punishment for the perpetrators and facilitators of the May 9 riots.

Ayub Khan, who served as Pakistan's second President, imposed the country's first martial law in 1958 and ruled until 1969. Article 6 of the Pakistani Constitution deals with high treason and provides for the punishment of those who abrogate or subvert the Constitution by force or show of force. The High Treason Punishment Act 1973 stipulates the penalty or life imprisonment for those convicted under Article 6.

The heated exchange in the na, session, marred, trade underscores the deep political divisions and ongoing tensions between the government and opposition parties in Pakistan. As the country grapples with the aftermath of the May 9 riots and the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, the demand for accountability and adherence to constitutional principles remains at the forefront of the national discourse.

Key Takeaways

  • Pakistan's Defence Minister calls for exhumation and hanging of former dictator Ayub Khan's body.
  • Minister cites Article 6 of the Constitution, which pertains to high treason.
  • Opposition lawmakers protest, demand commission to investigate May 9 riots.
  • Ayub Khan imposed martial law in 1958 and ruled until 1969.
  • Incident highlights deep political divisions and tensions in Pakistan.