Multiparty alliance demands present court proceedings be terminated by accepting four-judge majority judgment n Wants holding of general polls on single day across Pakistan n Urges all stakeholders to respect Parliament’s supremacy n Maulana Fazl alleges ‘biased attitude’ of CJP and two other judges ‘has corrupted Supreme Court’.
ISLAMABAD - Leaders of the ruling coalition parties Saturday demanded that general elections should be held on the same day across the country. The demand was made at an important virtual meeting of the coalition parties in Lahore on Saturday with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair. Former President Asif Ali Zardari, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Maryam Nawaz Sharif and other leaders attended the meeting.
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All the leaders agreed that it is the basic constitutional requirement to conducting impartial, transparent and free elections in the country and deviation from which will plunge the country into a disastrous political crisis. The meeting expressed no confidence in the three-member bench headed by the Chief Justice and demanded that the present court proceedings be terminated by accepting the four-judge majority judgment. The meeting fully supported the recent legislation of the Parliament and stated that the obstacles in the way of justice have been removed by this legislation. The meeting urged all stakeholders to respect the Parliament’s supremacy. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar briefed the meeting on the economic situation of the country.
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman while talking to reporters said that in the Supreme Court, a suo motu notice regarding the date of general elections of Punjab and KP is under hearing. The first selection bench constituted consisted of 9 members, but was reduced to three members. Separation of the judges is a decision against the notice itself, said Maulana Fazlur Rahman.
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Chief Justice is afraid that this case has to be heard at any cost, Maulana Fazlur Rehman added. In such a situation, what opinion should politicians, parliament and people form, said Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
In our view, he said, the Supreme Court and the present bench are clearly playing the role of party in this case. Fazlur Rahman also said that after the party’s role related to the elections in two provinces, it is obvious that we have no faith in this court, Maulana Fazlur Rahman.
The biased attitude of the Chief Justice or the two honourable judges who are associated with him has corrupted the Supreme Court, Maulana Fazlur Rahman. “It is surprising that the Supreme Court is the most valuable and high ranking institution of Pakistan, but a few judges clearly want to give relief to Imran Khan, want to win his party’s position at any cost.”
In such a case, it is permissible to divide the Supreme Court, but not withdraw from the one who is supporting. Morally, the Chief Justice and his two associates should withdraw from this case and end this matter, Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
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“The chief justice is advising us that this matter should be resolved together and the chief justice himself has divided the honourable court,” Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Who should we talk to, a criminal who was brought in by rigging? Maulana Fazlur Rehman. “We did 15 million marches, we did Azadi marches, you didn’t realise at that time, why didn’t you take notice, said PDM chief.”
The two main culprits of July 25 rigging are still roaming openly, even today you are not taking any notice against them, says Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Conducting elections in the provinces or conducting elections in the country is the work of the Election Commission.
The suo motu case has been rejected by four and three, so there is no further hearing on it, Maulana Fazlur Rehman. We do not trust this bench and the CJP, he added. “Today it is being said that the Constitution requires that elections should be held within ninety days, why was this not a requirement of the Constitution when this court was allowing dictator Pervez Musharraf to hold elections in three years, asked Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
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Currently, he said, the census is taking place in the country, after a few months a new constituency was created, a new voter list and the newly formed voter will not be able to cast his vote. “In order to keep the country politically united since 1949, elections are held in one day in Pakistan. Care should be taken, do not play a party role, let the Supreme Court remain united, let the Supreme Court remain neutral.”
Maulana Fazlur Rehman also made it clear that they would not be a part of any negotiation with Imran Khan regarding the election date nor will we negotiate with any criminal.
According to a statement issued here, the leaders considered in detail the overall political situation in the country and held consultations on future strategy. They said any deviation would be similar to a suicide attack on the economic interests of the country. The meeting made it clear that the conspiracy to create an unending political and constitutional crisis on the pressure of a party which was attacking the state institutions with its gangs, would not be acceptable in any way.
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They were of the view that unfortunately an administrative issue was turned into a political and constitutional crisis and ignoring of economic, security, constitutional, legal and political affairs would be akin to neglecting interests of the state.
They said the haste to achieve a particular objective for giving relief to a party looked like a political agenda and it was against the constitution, law and authority of the Election Commission.
According to article 218(3) and other articles of the constitution, holding the election was the prerogative of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and according to the Constitution, “Supreme Court should not interfere in the authority of an independent and autonomous Election Commission”. They said the four honourable judges of the Supreme Court gave the same verdict in the suo moto case number 1/2023.
The meeting expressed their “no confidence in the three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice and comprising Justice Ijaz ul Hasan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar and demanded that the majority decision of the four members in the suo moto case 1/2023 should be accepted and the current judicial proceedings should be stopped”.
“It is unfortunate that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court wanted to impose the decision of the minority on the decision of the majority,” they said.
They said this behaviour was not only a clear example of a grave constitutional and political crisis in the country but was also evident of “deviation from the constitution” and laid down a legal procedure which was a “flagrant violation of the basic concept of separation of powers of the state”.
The meeting raised the issue that a bench headed by a senior most judge of the Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa ordered the suspension of hearing of all cases under article 184(3) of the constitution, adding that contradictory court decisions had created an unimplementable and complex situation and respect of the decision of the bench of Justice Qazi Faez Isa was also mandatory for everyone.
The leaders demanded that action should be initiated on the references filed by Pakistan Bar Council and other associations under article 209.
They clarified that Justice Ijaz ul Hasan had already voluntarily recused himself from the bench in this particular case, so he could not be part of the present bench.
In this respect, orders of Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail were clear and it all was present on the record.
The meeting urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to listen to the dissenting voices rising from the benches of the Supreme Court as chief of the institution and immediately form a full court to negate the impression of “one man show”.
They declared that the “verdict of the three members on the issue of article 63A was the cause of political instability and through it the constitution was re-written”.
They also stated that clear “division could be seen in the thinking of the Supreme Court, therefore the apex court should refrain from issuing controversial political decisions”.
It was urged that the impression regarding the Chief Justice and some other judges should be removed that they were adopting a special discriminatory attitude in the matter of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). They also highlighted “that those who are advising politicians to take decisions by sitting together are also divided and they should create unity and unanimity among themselves”.
Federal Minister for Law Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar informed the leadership about the legislation enacted in the Parliament about article 184(3) of the constitution and briefed on the situation arising out of the conflicting decisions and formation of benches.
The meeting fully supported the recent legislation in the Parliament and said the legislation had removed obstacles in the way of justice.
The new legislation had put a stop to the path of one-sided justice to the people and gave them the right to appeal which was according to natural justice and the basic intent of the constitution. The Parliament had given a clear opinion about the article 184(3) through its legislation, they said , adding Parliament was a supreme institution and its opinion should be respected by all.
The meeting expressed the hope that the “President will not become a hurdle in this legislation on the basis of his party affiliation”.
Meanwhile, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar briefed the participants about the economic situation in the country.
Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Aminul Haque, Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Hashim Notezai, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Shafiq Tareen, Amir Haider Hoti of Awami National Party, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Dr Khalid Magsi of Balochistan Awami Party, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Tahir Bashir Cheema, Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Rana Sanaullah, Rana Tanvir Hussain, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan, Attaullah Tarar, Allama Sajiq Mir, Aslam Bhotani, Moulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Shah Awais Noorani, Kamran Murtaza, Mohsin Dawar, Farooq H Naik, Murtaza Wahab, Sheeraz Rajpar, and others attended the meeting.