Opposition requisitions Senate session, Fazl blasts govt’s poll plan
JUI-F chief says Supreme Court can only interpret Constitution
As opposition members filed a requisition for a Senate session, the PDM leaders described the suggestion of early polls for the Upper House and the changes in its procedure as unconstitutional, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.
The requisition signed by 34 members and submitted by Raja Zafar-ul-Haq and Sherry Rehman reads that the Parliament enjoys the right to hold all the institutions accountable and demand transparency in their actions.
In this connection, a privilege motion moved by Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla against the NAB officials, including its chairman and the SECP representatives.
Moreover, the opposition members also want to discuss a resolution on the degrees, domiciles and assets of NAB officials. Other items on their agenda are the crackdown on the opposition and the rigging in the recently-held Gilgit-Baltistan elections.
Talking about the issue in Multan, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman questioned how the cabinet could change the Senate elections procedure and the timing.
He told a press conference that the Supreme Court could only interpret the Constitution and added that the procedure required constitutional amendment and wasn’t possible through a presidential ordinance.
When asked about the NAB inquiry, Fazl warned that the government would face the consequences as they didn’t know with whom they were dealing with.
He said they did not want to see the people and the institutions having a clash, adding that the establishment should stand by the masses.
Brushing aside the reports about any differences in the PDM over the resignations, he said not everything could be shared or consulted with media. They would use different options according to their own timing and strategy, Fazl stressed.
On the other hand, JUI-F Secretary-General Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, addressing a press conference in Islamabad, said that the Constitution had specifically mentioned the time when the Senate elections would be held.
The government proposal to organise the Senate polls early in February reflected the panic in the PTI government’s ranks, he added.
Haideri remarked that the PDM in Lahore had made the government to start crying and added that the opposition would hold protests in all the provinces before the planned long march towards Islamabad.
And in Karachi, PPP leader Raza Rabbani – who is a seasoned politician and known as the main architect of the 18th Amendment – expressed similar views about early polls and said elections through show of hands wasn’t possible without amending the Article 226 of the Constitution.
“Pakistan is not a banana republic,” he remarked and added that the proposal was a complete negation of the Constitution, which would mean that the nationalist parties would not be able to gain a single seat.
He mentioned that the Article 224 made it clear when the schedule would be announced and polls held for the Senate.
Rabbani also warned that the federal government wanted to impose financial governor’s rule in Sindh which would be a robbery against provincial autonomy.