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PPP wants CJP to step down

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. — File
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. — File
PPP Secretary-General Sardar Latif Khosa. — File photo
PPP Secretary-General Sardar Latif Khosa. — File photo

LAHORE, July 31: The Pakistan Peoples Party has demanded Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry should step down ‘to save the sanctity of the judiciary’, seeking fresh presidential election.

“After the resignation of Chief Election Commissioner Fakharuddin G Ebrahim, the PPP asks Chief Justice Chaudhry to follow suit. The resignation of Mr Ebrahim has vindicated the party’s stance,” PPP Secretary-General Sardar Latif Khosa told Dawn on Wednesday.

Mr Khosa said the chief justice had made the highest judicial office controversial by violating the Constitution in the verdict on presidential election.

“After the resignation of the CEC, there is a constitutional crisis in the country and the PPP thinks it can only be resolved through the resignation of the chief justice,” he said.

A general house meeting of the Lahore High Court Bar Association had also adopted a resolution demanding presidential references against CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry, Justice Jawad S Khwaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed for their alleged violation of the constitution in their judgment on the election of the president.

“The cat has come out of the bag in the presidential election as the alliance of the troika – PML-N, judiciary and ECP – is now known to everyone,” he said.

Mr Khosa said by advancing the presidential election schedule, the Supreme Court not only violated its mandate but also deprived the PPP of a level playing field, making the party demand fresh presidential election. He said the PTI should also have boycotted the presidential election.

Mr Khosa said the chief justice should have stepped down when allegations of making money through illegal means had surfaced against his son Arsalan. “Arsalan got away scot-free. Had someone else been involved in such a scandal, even his accomplices would also have been behind the bars,” he said.