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Pak defence minister calls for exhumation and hanging of former military dictator Ayub Khan

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NewsDrum Desk
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Islamabad, May 13 (PTI) During a heated parliamentary debate, laced with barbs and vitriol, Pakistan's Defence Minister Khawaja Asif demanded on Monday that the body of former military dictator Ayub Khan be exhumed and hanged for abrogating the constitution.

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The problem began after opposition leader Omar Ayub Khan, a grandson of Ayub Khan, took a strong exception to the last week press conference of the military spokesman Maj-Gen Ahmad Sharif Chaudhry by terming it interference in politics by the army.

“Security agencies cannot indulge in politics as per the Constitution,” he said, adding that they were “tools of the state, not the state itself”.

Quoting from different articles of the Constitution, he said that the oath of army officers barred them from interference in politics. “Security institutions cannot indulge in politics as per this Constitution. This press conference should not have happened,” he said.

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He also read aloud Article 6 that abrogation of the Constitution was high treason punishable with death, and urged that all institutions should remain within the constitutional limits. “Constitutionally, every institution has its limits,” he reiterated. “If institutions do not operate within them, then the country cannot progress.” Defence minister Asif said Ayub Khan was the first to violate the Constitution and he should be the first to face Article 6 also.

“The body of the false Field Marshall Ayub Khan, who instituted the first martial law in the country, should also be dug out and hanged as per Article 6. Begin from there and the height should be the night when the Constitution was violated and the assembly was dissolved so the no-confidence motion could not pass,” he demanded.

His remarks prompted protest and sloganeering by the opposition lawmakers belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and commotion went on despite speaker national assembly Ayaz Sadiq urging for calm.

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Undeterred by the uproar, Asif pressed forward with his demand by repeating that Ayub Khan was the first who violated his oath.

“Dig out the body of the one who is the root of all these problems, constitutional violations and lawlessness and hang him,” Asif said.

However, later on a semblance of peace returned and Asif completed his barbed speech, with the opposition lawmakers booing him at times. PTI SH SCY SCY

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