President Asif Ali Zardari. — File Photo
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari continues to send positive signals towards Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif.
On the occasion of Mr Sharif’s oath-taking ceremony on Wednesday, President Zardari, accompanied by his family holding a large bouquet, received the new prime minister outside the main building of the presidency. On Friday, the president signed an advice of the prime minister for the appointment of new attorney general immediately after it was put before him.
At 4.36pm, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a press release, saying the premier had advised the president to appoint Munir A. Malik as new attorney general of Pakistan.
At 6.44pm, the PM’s Office sent out a second release which said that on the concurrence of the President to the advice sent by the prime minister, the government was issuing a notification for the appointment of Mr Malik as attorney general of Pakistan.
President Zardari, on the advice of the government, has summoned a joint sitting of the two houses of parliament on June 10.
It’s likely that the PML-N government will invite Mr Zardari to address the sitting. It’s also the requirement under Article 56 (3) which says: “At the
commencement of the first session after each general election to the National Assembly and at the commencement of the first session of each year the President shall address both houses assembled together and inform the Majlis-i-Shoora (Parliament) of the causes of its summons.”
The legal fraternity has welcomed Mr Malik’s appointment, which is being seen as yet another good move by the PML-N government. Last week, Mr Sharif nominated Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, head of the National Party, as chief minister of Balochistan, a decision which drew wide appreciation.Talking to Dawn, Mr Munir Malik said as attorney general he would ensure implementation of the Supreme Court’s orders in letter and spirit. The Supreme Court, he added, was the final interpreter and arbitrator of the constitution, and it was the duty of the executive to fully implement its rulings without delay.
He said that under Article 184(3) of the constitution the apex court and executive should have a collaborative relationship for the enforcement of fundamental rights in the country.
About the question of invoking Article 6 against retired Gen Pervez Musharraf for subverting the constitution, Mr Malik said he would take instructions from the federal government on the issue.
Mr Malik will replace Mr Irfan Qadir, who has been serving as attorney general since April 2012.
Mr Malik, a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, was one of the lawyers who boldly challenged Gen Musharraf when he deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on March 9, 2007.
Many in the lawyers’ community believe it was on Mr Malik’s insistence that the lawyers’ movement was launched. He was also a member of the team which fought the legal battle in the apex court for the reinstatement of the chief justice and other judges. In the process, he was persecuted by the then military regime.
However, despite playing a crucial role in the struggle for the reinstatement of the chief justice, Mr Malik, unlike others, took himself out of the spotlight and led a low-key life afterwards.