PPP elaborates delay in restoration of judges and impact of PML-N resignation on Coalition

ISLAMABAD: Hoping that the dialogue on judges issue between Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and PPP will continue even after the resignation, PPP Spokesman Farhatullah Babar have shed light on the complexities and reason in delay of the reinstatement of the judges. He stated on Monday that after it had been agreed that the sacked judges would be reinstated without affecting the present judges, the issue that remained to be addressed was how best to do it. Different opinions were expressed in the Committee of legal experts set up for the purpose after the meetings in Dubai, he said.

The PPP spokesman said that by restoring the November 2 judges and also not disturbing the present judiciary, as agreed, the number of the judges in the Supreme Court would raise to more than 25. However, under the Judges Act 1997 the number of Supreme Court’s judges can not exceed seventeen, he said. “A predominant opinion was that the implementation of the Resolution would require an amendment in the Judges Act 1997 to allow for more than 17 judges”, he added.

The Prime Minister cannot lawfully increase the number of judges of Supreme Court from 17 to more than 25 merely by issuing an executive order. “It has to be done through an Act of the Parliament”, he clarified. The spokesperson said that the action of November 3 was constitutionally, politically and morally wrong. Therefore there was no doubt that the sacked judges have to be restored and the constitutional amendments, decisions and orders made after November 3 be reversed if not indemnified by the Parliament. The only question was the best possible way for it, he further stated. It was important that correct and lawful procedures were adopted to undo a grave wrong, he said.

Pakistan People’s Party Spokesman Farhatullah Babar has said told Pakistan Times that the PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari would return to Pakistan after two days and dialogue with the Pakistan Muslim league-N (PML-N) will be resumed after his return. In a statement he said Monday that PPP will continue supporting the PML-N led government in Punjab province. He said that the judges will be restored after reaching an agreed formula on constitutional package with PML-N adding that dialogue with the party would soon be resumed after returning of Zardari.

Pakistan Peoples Party has said that the decision by its coalition partner Pakistan Muslim League-N to quit federal cabinet is not a break in the process of judges’ restoration and strengthening the Parliament.

He further stated that the decision would weaken neither the determination to strengthen the coalition nor the resolve to restore the sacked Judges. However, he realized the resignation as a pause in the restoration of judiciary. He said that the Ministries vacated by the PML-N will not be filled and the course of dialogue will be pursued to resolve the issue amicably and in a spirit of accommodation and mutual trust.

However, it may not be possible to keep vacant for long the office of Minister of Finance as this was the budget season and there were pressing economic issues that called for the effective presence a full time Minister for Finance, Senator Farhatullah Babar added. He said that the PPP welcomes the decision of Nawaz Sharif to contest bye-elections from Rawalpindi and said that PPP would not field its candidate against the PML-N leader. The Party has also decided not to withdraw its support to the coalition government in Punjab.

The spokesperson said that the Party still believes that the issue with the coalition partner would be resolved amicably and the judges restored. The effects of the martial law of November 3 and the illegal sacking of judges should be undone in a legal and lawful manner.-SANA

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Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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