ANALYSIS: Could anti-army tirade see Imran booted from NA?

THE 'same-page' scenario has given hope to the coalition government that it can now get PTI Chairman Imran Khan disqualified from parliament for allegedly defaAming the armed forces, though experts say it could be a bumpy ride.

Encouraged by the ISPR statement against Mr Khan, one option the government has is to invoke Article 63(1g) of the Constitution, which deals with disqualifying a lawmaker for bringing disrepute to the armed forces and judiciary.

Several legal experts and political analysts believe that the article can be invoked in the wake of accusations being made by Mr Khan against the armed forces, though they say a conviction from a court of law is required to get any person disqualified under this article.

Editorial: By going public with his accusations, Imran has taken a step he may find impossible to reverse

Hours after the PTI chairman, in a televised address on Friday evening, directly blamed government officials and an army officer for the attempt on his life, the military leadership in a statement termed these accusations 'unacceptable and uncalled for' and demanded legal action against the former prime minister for defaming the institution and its officials.

Also on Friday, the Lahore High Court admitted for regular hearing a petition seeking Mr Khan's removal as PTI chairman following his disqualification in the Toshakhana case under Article 63(1p) of the Constitution that stipulates temporary disqualification from being a member of parliament and office-bearer of a political party.

Surprisingly, a PTI dissident MNA, Noor Alam Khan, who spoke in the National Assembly before Mr Khan's Friday speech and the ISPR's statement, had already urged the government to proceed against his former party boss under Article 63(1g).

Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, president of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat), thinks the government has made an appropriate move by asking the chief justice to constitute a full court commission to probe Imran Khan's allegations. However, he said it would be a long-drawn process to get Mr Khan disqualified despite enough evidence that he had been bringing the armed forces to disrepute.

In his opinion, a sessions court is the most appropriate forum for holding Mr Khan's trial to enable him to use his constitutional right of appeal. He said the government could take the matter before any high court, stating that perhaps the Supreme Court would not like to take the matter...

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