PM has requested for postponement of by-elections
MNAs, MPAs are protest ing against Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification
Sherry said Nawaz Sharif should be free to contest elections
Farooq H. Naek said Govt opposes disqualification of Nawaz Sharif
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has raised issue of disqualification of Nawaz Sharif
Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the government has decided to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the order of Lahore High court disqualifying Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif from contesting forthcoming bye-elections. Making a statement in the National Assembly this afternoon, he said they would also make a request for the postponement of by-elections of NA-123 from where Mian Nawaz Sharif was a candidate, till decision of the appeal.
The Prime Minister said he spoke to Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, Javed Hashmi and Ahsan Iqbal and held consultations with the law Minister Farooq Naek and the Advisor on Interior Rehman Malik about the options available to the government. He said the government had only one option that is to file the appeal. Gilani said PPP and PML-N respects each other’s mandate and the PPP-led government will stand by its allies.
In the National Assembly the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentary leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan raised the issue of disqualification of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. He on Tuesday said an independent judiciary is of vital importance. He was of the view that PCO judges are being protected through unfair means. He hoped that the PPP would not compromise on the principles for which its leaders sacrificed their lives.
Mr. Ahsan Iqbal said it is a defining moment and the coalition partners will have to prove that they are committed to implement the Murree Declaration and Charter of Democracy. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Syed Khurshid Shah said the government is committed for ensuring supremacy of the constitution and sovereignty of the Parliament and would take along the coalition partners to achieve the goals.
In this regard Members of the National and Provincial Assemblies of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Tuesday staged demonstrations to protest the disqualification of PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif from contesting by-elections. The protesters gathered in front of Parliament House here and chanted slogans against the decision of the Lahore High Court’s bench which disqualified Nawaz for contesting the by-polls. Addressing the demonstrators, PML-N Parliamentary leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said his party is willing to lay any kind of sacrifice including quitting of the Punjab government for the restoration of judiciary.
President Musharraf was behind decisions of the PCO judges before February 18 but now the present government is responsible for the recent verdict of the LHC, he said.PML-N Information Secretary, Ahsan Iqbal alleged that President Musharraf after sensing fear of his impeachment had Nawaz Sharif disqualified through PCO judges.He said the future course of action will be decided in a meeting of Parliamentary party and Central Executive Committee.
Meanwhile, The PML-N Members of National and Punjab Assembly staged a demonstration outside the Assembly Chambers in Lahore Tuesday afternoon to protest against the verdict of the Lahore High Court under which PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif has been disqualified for contesting the by-elections. The member said this decision is a conspiracy against the democracy to keep Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif out of the Assembly. Thos who spoke on the occasion include Khwaja Saad Rafique, Abdul Ghafoor Chaudhry and Tanvir Ashraf Kaira. Some PPP MPAs, lawyers PML-N workers and members of the civil society also joined the protest.
Information Minister Sherry Rehman has said that there should be no restriction on Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to contest elections. Talking to newsmen outside the Parliament House here on Tuesday, she said the federal government is going into appeal in the Supreme Court as announced by the Prime Minister. She said the Election Commission is also being approached to postpone elections in NA-123 till disposal of the appeal. The Information Minister said this is indeed a difficult moment but emphasised the need to demonstrate tolerance so that the democratic mandate given by the people remains intact. Replying to a question she said the clause relating to the strength of the Supreme court judges was inserted in the Finance Bill at the instance of a senior member of PML(N). To another question, she said Asif Ali Zardari had made it clear at the time of signing of the Murree Declaration that no judge would be dislocated. She said the government wants restoration of the deposed judges but does not want to trigger another crisis by disturbing the present judges.
The Law Minister Farooq H. Naek made it clear that the federal government had opposed the petition for disqualification of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif in the Lahore High Court. Responding to points of order raised by the members of the House he said the Deputy Attorney General in his arguments took the plea that the petition is not maintainable and submitted that the matter should be decided by the Election Tribunal.
The Law Minister said it is regrettable to blame the PPP or the federal government regarding this decision as the government’s stance was very clear. Farooq H. Naek said it would be unfair to blame the PPP for protecting the PCO judges as it is opposing the decision of the Lahore High Court. Later on in an interview Law Minister Farooq H. Naek said that Federal Government with the consultation of Coalition partners will file a petition in the Supreme Court Wednesday against the verdict of Lahore High Court disqualifying PML (N) Quaid, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.