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Former Pakistan President Arif Alvi Laughs off Treason Demands, Welcomes Trial in Press Conference

Former President Arif Alvi responded with laughter when questioned by reporters about the calls from rival politicians to initiate treason proceedings against him. During his inaugural press conference in Karachi, his hometown, after stepping down as the 13th president of Pakistan, Alvi, a member of Imran Khan’s party, dismissed the demands with a nonchalant “Welcome, start the trial.”

Despite being a part of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Alvi faced skepticism from some party members in the past, particularly regarding decisions related to holding elections in the country, despite the Supreme Court’s directive to conduct elections to the Punjab Assembly on May 14.

During the 16-month rule of the multi-party confab, Arif Alvi attempted to thwart certain initiatives, including delaying the summoning of the National Assembly session for newly elected lawmakers after the general elections on February 8.

Leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have previously demanded that Alvi be tried under Article 6 (high treason) of the Constitution, citing his perceived allegiance to a political party. Khawaja Asif, a member of the same party, recently reiterated such calls outside Parliament, asserting that the former president should be tried for high treason for allegedly violating the law on two occasions.

During the press conference, Alvi did not take these demands seriously. When a reporter quoted allegations from PML-N, PPP, and their allies, suggesting that he supported unconstitutional actions, Alvi responded with a nonchalant “Very good,” attempting to dismiss such claims. He stated that if there are allegations, the courts are available, and he abided by the Constitution during his presidency. He emphasized that he did what he deemed appropriate and welcomed any case under Article 6, saying, “If a case has to be tried under Article 6, so welcome, have it.”

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