Allies question impartiality of SC bench; demands full court bench
Maryam comes down hard on judiciary, says contempt of institutions comes from within the institutions: Criticizes 3-member SC bench saying bench-fixing is a crime same like match-fixing: Bilawal says allies want institutions to remain impartial : Maulana Fazl says govt does not expect justice from current bench; endorses Maryam views
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An ostensibly perturbed coalition government holds a press conference just a couple of hours before the Supreme Court starts its hearing in Pervaiz Elahi’s petition today (Monday) challenging the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker’s ruling who handed victory to Hamza Shehbaz in Punjab Assembly chief minister election, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The coalition partners including PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, JUI Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, ANP leader Aimal Wali and Balochistan Awami Party Chief Khalid Magsi held a joint press conference in Islamabad.
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz came hard on the Supreme Court bench which in its Saturday ruling made Hamza as trustee chief minister till Monday (today) barring him to use CM powers for political gains.
In her address, Maryam told the press that she had been advised not to hold the media talk as it would affect her appeal in the Panama case that was being heard by the Islamabad High Court and was in its “final stages”.
“However, I said that the people’s representative has to think beyond themselves and think about the people.”
She was of the view that the ‘court judgements leave an impact for decades and it intensifies with the passage of time’.
Taking a dig at judiciary, she said that the contempt of institutions came from within the institutions.
She objected to the opening of the court at midnight on public holiday on Sunday when Ch Pervaiz filed his petition challenging Hamza’s victory in Friday’s run-off election.
She said people in fact got a fair good idea what judgement would be coming with the formation of the bench even before the verdict.
She rued the presence of a ‘certain judge’ in every bench which had given rulings against the PML-N wondering why that ‘monitoring judge’ was included every time as if there was a dearth of judges.
“One or two judges, who have always been anti-PML-N and anti-government, they are repeatedly included in the bench,” she said, adding that “bench-fixing is a crime just like match-fixing”.
“The monitoring (anti-PML-N) judge has been appointed for life,” she deplored adding that the list of injustices meted out to the PML-N was long.
The PML-N leader asked for the SC to take suo motu notice of this issue.
Unhappy with the court decision, Maryam alleged that the courts always favoured Imran Khan.
She wondered where the judicial system would head if decisions were always made in favour of those who abused and bullied the institutions.
She regretted that Hamza-led government in Punjab had never been allowed to work smoothly as he was even unable to form his cabinet. All the time, he was going to courts attending different petitions challenging his election.
She said that it was unheard of that an elected chief minister had been made a trustee chief minister.
She deplored that the PML-N leaders were especially targetted and were charged in contempt cases while other proclaimed offenders like PTI Chief Imran Khan were not caught in contempt cases rather he would sit cross-legged in courtroom No 1 watching the judicial proceedings and mocking at courts.
While giving vent to her anger at courts, Maryam also turned her guns towards Imran Khan. She bemoaned that a ‘liar’ was declared ‘honest’ and ‘trustworthy’. She said that ‘honest’ man traded national exchequer for paltry diamond rings.
“When it comes to Imran, the interpretation of constitution has completely been altered,” she regretted.
Bilawal says allies want institutions to remain impartial
Addressing on the occasion, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also lashed out at Imran Khan saying he wanted to become an autocrat ruler.
Bilawal said that some forces didn’t like the people’s government. ‘You can’t bear it that people are making their own decisions’, he added.
“But some forces want to create one-unit autocracy in the country,” he lamented while cautioning ‘don’t ruin the constitution under Imran’s pressure’.
He said Imran wanted to become a despot while desiring to list every institute as its ‘Tiger Force’.
He alleged that the campaign was a conspiracy against the country’s economic progress and democratic journey. “We did not let any conspiracy succeed in the past and we will not let it happen now. We want institutions to remain uncontroversial.”
The foreign minister said that everyone will accept the verdict when all judges listen to the case.
“If only three judges give a decision, then we will not be able to control the political situation that will develop in this country.”
Maulana Fazl says govt does not expect justice from current bench
While addressing the presser, JUI Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that he had lost all hope of justice from this SC bench.
The Maulana said that he fully endorsed Maryam’s views. He said that he wanted to cooperate with the institutions ‘but he has no hope of justice from this bench’.
He said that the government wanted to strengthen the judiciary so that their decisions spoke for themselves. “They shouldn’t have any conflict or give the impression of being biased.”
He said that a government given the mandate by the people was not being allowed to function. He went on to say that when a government was not formed as per the will of the country’s institutions, a new setup was imposed through rigging.
“Institutions meddle in political affairs to protect the state but do they ever think that the state is weakened due to their interference?” he asked.
“You are sitting behind a wall. You may decide whatever you want […] and make politicians the culprit in the eyes of the public and defame them. But hold yourself accountable.”
He said that the people’s confidence in the country’s institutions needed to be restored but the latter should also assess their role and hold themselves accountable.
“We want to make country’s future brighter but for that, stability for the government is important […] We are united on the fact that we have to set the economy right but let us do it.”
The JUI-F said that it was very easy to “create difficulties”.
“If you expect us to not create any difficulties for you, then it is also your obligation to not create difficulties for us […] if there’s support for parliament, institutions and the government, the country will stabilise.”
More to follow...