President Alvi calls for judicial commission to probe ‘regime change conspiracy’

President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday called for a thorough investigation carried out by an “empowered judicial commission” into the alleged regime change conspiracy which PTI chairman Imran Khan claims was behind the ouster of his government.

It came in response to an April 30 letter the former prime minister had written to the president and Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial requesting a public inquiry as well as the formation of a judicial commission to probe a “threat letter” which the PTI chairman claimed was evidence of the “conspiracy” behind the no-confidence motion that saw him voted out of office.

According to a press release from the President’s Secretariat, Alvi, in response to Imran, said that the circumstantial evidence in the matter should be recorded and investigated to “reach a logical conclusion and provide clarity to the people of Pakistan”.

“Underscoring the need for a full investigation into the matter, he informed Mr Imran Khan that he was sending his letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan as well as to the Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan, with the request that the latter may constitute an empowered judicial commission to conduct open hearings in this regard,” the press release said.

The president said he had read the cypher telegram sent by Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Asad Majeed Khan that contained an official summary of the meeting held with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu. He added that the cypher “had included Lu’s statements mentioning a no-confidence motion” against the former prime minister and the consequences of its success or failure.

Alvi also referred to two meetings of the National Security Committee that he said had endorsed the view that Lu’s statements amounted to “unacceptable and blatant interference” in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

The president underlined that threats could be both “covert and overt” and had been “clearly communicated in undiplomatic language”. He added that Imran had also raised “serious issues” of the alleged threat’s “possible covert reactions and ramifications”.

“In his letter, the President continued that he was of the belief that for a sovereign nation, a proud independent nation like Pakistan, and a people whose dignity had been deeply hurt; an in-depth analysis and investigation must be done to inquire into what may or may not have been a preparation, starting before or following the overt threat, for a possible conspiracy to change the regime in our country.”

The president also highlighted that “in the history of Pakistan, people had alleged and strongly believed in many obvious but, unfortunately, unproven conspiracies”, the press release said.

President Alvi said that “top-secret archives” were sometimes declassified after decades or informed people made revelations or documents emerged in leaks that provided a “‘smoking gun’ kind of link to events and conspiracies on the world stage”.

He regretted that such developments occurred far too late when “the destinies of those countries had been significantly damaged by such illegal interventions”.

The president emphasised that it would be a vigorous exercise to prove that a “smoking gun” had been identified in the “hand of a conspirator” or to find a possible money trail or to identify “meetings where people had been motivated towards covert action or where people had been bought and sold”.

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