A man sits next to a banner showing Yousuf Raza Gilani and Asif Ali Zardari.—AP Photo
A man sits next to a banner showing Yousuf Raza Gilani and Asif Ali Zardari.—AP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Almost all mainstream political and religio-political parties have welcomed the Supreme Court verdict disqualifying Yousuf Raza Gilani as member of the National Assembly.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of the PML-N said the Supreme Court had upheld the Constitution and rule of law.

Mr Sharif said his party’s “Go Zardari, go” movement would continue.

Chaudhry Nisar said in an interview to a TV channel that disqualification of Mr Gilani had vindicated his party’s stance, adding that had Mr Gilani resigned after the court’s April 26 verdict, it would have enhanced his stature.

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chief Imran Khan said the SC decision was a victory for the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution.

“The PTI salutes the Supreme Court for demonstrating that everyone is equal in the eyes of law, whether it’s a common man or a prime minister.”

Mr Khan said it must be remembered that the decision had been taken on a petition filed by his party against the National Assembly speaker’s ruling, adding that the speaker had no authority to question the court’s earlier decision of convicting the prime minister in the contempt case.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said his party accepted the SC verdict. He was of the opinion that had Mr Gilani accepted the seven-judge bench’s April 26 verdict and quit his office, the court would not have handed down such a harsh ruling.

In an interview to a private TV channel, the Maulana announced that he would convene a meeting of his party’s top policy-making body in Islamabad late in the night to chalk out a future strategy following the prime minister’s exit.

Jamaat-i-Islami chief Syed Munawar Hasan termed the SC verdict bold. He urged President Asif Ali Zardari to nominate a new prime minister and announce fresh elections under a neutral caretaker government.

He said the country and the nation now faced a constitutional crisis after the Supreme Court judgment which could have been avoided if the PPP had accepted the earlier verdict with an open heart.

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