ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Justice and Democratic Party (PJDP) on Monday lodged a protest against the treatment meted out to its members by the office of National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, accusing it of avoiding receiving of a reference seeking the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif under Article 63(2) of the Constitution.
In a two-page letter addressed to the speaker, PJDP spokesperson Advocate Sheikh Ehsanuddin deplored that his meeting with the speaker kept being postponed for one reason or the other, adding that the party was deliberating moving another reference, this time against the speaker.
Former chief justice and PJDP founder Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry held a press conference on Aug 6, where he disclosed that party office-bearer and former MNA Sardar Umer Farooq Khan had questioned the prime minister’s credentials to rule the country.
The petition had sought Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification from NA-120 by alleging that he was not an ameen (righteous) person.
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Citing from various books and Supreme Court judgments, the reference had accused the prime minister of concealing his property outside Pakistan, money-laundering, misusing his position, misstating his assets in nomination papers filed with the Election Commission, not disclosing pending criminal cases, misusing official resources, favouritism and nepotism, widespread election rigging, breach of confidentiality agreements, violations of the Constitution and income tax evasion etc.
The letter stated that the reference was sent to the speaker via courier on Aug 6, and the petitioner also sought an appointment to present it to the speaker in person on Aug 8.
However, they could not see the speaker on that day because he was busy with another delegation.
The same day, the tragic Quetta bombing claimed the lives of dozens of lawyers, so the party decided to observe a mourning period from Aug 9 to Aug 11. During this time, the petitioner’s counsel remained in contact with the speaker’s personal secretary to seek time for a meeting on Aug 12, but no appointment was granted.
In addition to verbal requests, emails and faxes were also sent to the office of the speaker to set a date for the meeting, either on Aug 12 or Aug 13, but no response was given.
While expressing disappointment, Sheikh Ehsanuddin also accused the speaker of adopting a discriminatory attitude towards PJDP members, especially when the speaker personally received PML-N members Talal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz when they came to move a similar reference under Article 63(2) of the Constitution against PTI chief Imran Khan.
Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2016