ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has been urged to interpret the scope of ‘consultation’ between the president and the prime minister and leader of opposition in the National Assembly for the formation of a caretaker government for the next elections.
A petition, filed by Advocate Shahid Hamid on behalf of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat), an independent political think tank, has requested the court to interpret Article 224 (1a) inserted into the Constitution through the 18th Amendment.
The federal government, through the law secretary, the president, prime minister, leader of opposition in the National Assembly, provincial governors, chief ministers, leaders of opposition in provincial assemblies and the Election Commission of Pakistan have been made respondents in the petition.
The Constitution provides for the appointment of a caretaker prime minister by the president and caretaker chief ministers by the governors concerned in consultation with the outgoing prime minister/chief ministers and leaders of the opposition.
The petition recalled that recently a serious dispute had erupted between the president and the leader of opposition about interpretation of the word ‘consultation’ over the appointment of the chairman of National Accountability Bureau.
The president had stated that he had sought the views of the leader of opposition through a letter, but the latter did not agree that the requirement of law had been fulfilled.
Emphasising that the ‘consultation’ should be consensus-oriented, the opposition leader had challenged the appointment of the current NAB chairman on the grounds that real consultation did not take place.