Political parties support formation of judicial commission to probe rigging

Published March 24, 2015
Nawaz Sharif claims that the negotiations are done in the better interest of democracy and political stability. -AFP/File
Nawaz Sharif claims that the negotiations are done in the better interest of democracy and political stability. -AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Political parties in the parliament, despite having legal reservations, have decided to support the formation of a judicial commission in a bid to support the government in the investigation of rigging allegations levelled by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met parliamentary leaders in his chamber on Tuesday afternoon and took them into confidence over the process of negotiations with PTI, dubbing it an important step towards the better interest of democracy and political stability.

During the meeting, the matter of forming a judicial commission was deliberated upon in detail and political leaders decided to go ahead with the formation of a commission, said an official communique issued after the meeting.

Nawaz said he had written a letter for the formation of the judicial commission on August 13 last year. He said all the parties should work together for the country's progress and the welfare of the people.

The premier said he wants to remove misgivings among the political parties through dialogue and fully concentrate on resolving the challenges being faced by Pakistan which includes eradicating terrorism and extremism, meeting energy shortage and putting the country's economy on the path of progress creating a safe, peaceful, tolerant and prosperous society.

Moreover, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar briefed the meeting about the details of negotiations with PTI. Participants of the meeting congratulated the prime minister and negotiating team on their success.

Also read: PTI's return to NA hinges on formation of judicial commission

Leader of Opposition in NA Khursheed Shah said now that now PTI should rejoin the Assembly.

MQM against judicial commission

Addressing a press conference later in the day, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Farooq Sattar said his party has decided not to support the formation of the commission, calling it a "violation of Constitution".

“We respect the supremacy of the Constitution and believe that Parliament and political parties also come under the Constitution and not vice versa,” said Sattar. He went on to say, "This proposed law is in violation of Article 225 and 189 of the Constitution”.

The government has long argued that whatever findings of the judicial commission, they should be dealt under Article 225 of the constitution which says “no election to a house or a provincial assembly shall be called in question except by an election petition presented to such tribunal and in such manner as may be determined by Act of Majlis-i-Shoora (Parliament).”

Whereas, the PTI contends a judicial commission with special powers should be formulated through a presidential ordinance which if finds out that rigging was committed in selected number of constituencies, the government should go home followed by fresh elections.

PTI chief Imran Khan has repeatedly said that the current assembly, the prime minister and the government were not genuine because 2013 elections were massively rigged.

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