Ruling alliance to boycott SC bench hearing election plea

LAHORE – A key meeting of the ruling partners on Saturday unanimously boycotted the three-member Supreme Court (SC) bench hearing Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) elections case and demanded the SC to constitute a full bench for the purpose.

The huddle comes a day after the top court rejected a petition filed by the coalition government seeking the formation of a full court bench to hear the elections case. 

PDM leaders reckoned that Justice Ijazul Ahsan’s re-inclusion to the three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar, was unjust adding that it was an open violation of the SC rules of procedure. “The SC is asking politicians to join heads even though it is divided itself”, they added. The current situation demanded that, they said, the remaining three judges should also distance themselves from the case.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired the meeting at his Model Town residence while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo Nawaz Sharif attended the huddle through a video link from London. PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz, Former President Asif Ali Zardari, Minister for Foreign Affairs Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, PDM chief Molana Fazlur Rehman, PML-Q’s Ch Saalik Hussian, Federal Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar, SAPM Attaullah Tarar, Malik Ahmad Khan and other party leaders were also present.

The meeting observed that elections should be held at one time in the country otherwise the country would plunge into a political crisis. “It [holding elections separately] will be akin to a suicide attack on the country’s economy”, the statement added. The PDM would, it said, not tolerate any attempt to create a political and constitutional crisis in the country.

The participants said that an administrative issue had morphed into a political and constitutional crisis adding that ignoring economic, security, constitutional, legal, and political affairs was tantamount to indifference to state interests. “The haste to giving relief to a specific party for a specific purpose seems like a political agenda which is against the constitution and ultra vires to the ECP’s authority”, he added.

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