Opposition asks nation to observe thanksgiving day

Published April 8, 2022
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif (C) speaks flanked by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (3rdL) during a press conference in Islamabad on April 7. — AFP
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif (C) speaks flanked by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (3rdL) during a press conference in Islamabad on April 7. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Applauding the Supreme Court’s verdict, the opposition parties on Thursday gave a call to the nation and their workers to observe thanksgiving day on Friday (today) and hold celebrations throughout the country over the ‘victory of democracy and the Constitution’ of the country.

Dozens of workers and lawyers belonging to opposition parties, who had gathered outside the Supreme Court (SC) building on the Constitution Avenue were seen celebrating and felicitating each other after the announcement of the short verdict by the five-member SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial.

A group of jubilant workers of opposition lit fireworks and raised slogans like “Wazir-i-Azam Shehbaz Sharif” and “Go Niazi Go” as the opposition leaders were seen coming out of the SC building one after the other with smiling faces and some of them making victory signs.

There was jubilation also in the Sharif camp in London as PML-N’s supreme leader Nawaz Sharif watched the news at his son’s office in Stanhope House, flanked by former finance minister Ishaq Dar, his son Hussain Nawaz as well as other PML-N workers and supporters.

A number of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders and members of the Sindh cabinet, along with dissidents of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), also celebrated the SC verdict at the Sindh House where they watched the daylong events live on television.

Speaking at a news conference at the official residence of Shehbaz Sharif at the Ministers Enclave, the opposition leaders praised the Supreme Court judgment, stating that “the verdict will be written with golden words in the history”.

“This (SC) verdict has buried all the past judgments given on the basis of doctrine of necessity. Now no one will be able to use the doctrine of necessity till the dooms day,” said Mr Sharif.

He termed the verdict a victory for the 220 million people of the country, democracy, parliament and the Constitution.

Mr Sharif expressed the hope that the joint opposition would complete the next phases smoothly in line with the SC verdict.

Mr Sharif, who has been nominated as the candidate for the prime minister’s office by the joint opposition, said that the word “victimisation” did not exist in his dictionary. He said the opposition would break the NAB-Niazi nexus.

In reply to a question, Mr Sharif said if the PTI members decided to resign from the assembly, then it would be their choice but it would have no effect on the outcome of the no-confidence resolution against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In reply to another question, he said that they would consult and invite each and every party in the parliament for developing a consensus on electoral reforms.

Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) said that they were happy because they were standing at the right side on this important day of the history.

“Democracy is the best revenge,” said PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari while commenting on the SC verdict during a brief media chat at the Zardari House before leaving for Mr Sharif’s residence for a meeting of the joint opposition.

The PPP chairman said that through this verdict, the stains left by the 2018 elections had been washed to some extent.

He said now they would fulfil the promise of conducting free, fair and transparent elections in the country.

He asked the party workers to hold celebrations in every nook and corner of the country.

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) president Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the SC had given a satisfactory verdict as per expectations of the people of the country.

Maulana Fazl said that earlier he had given a call to the nation to observe a protest day on Friday (today), but now they would observe a thanksgiving day.

He asked the people to offer Nawafil on the day over the SC’s historic decision which, he said, had saved the country.

Meanwhile, talking to Dawn in London, PML-N leader and former finance minister Ishaq Dar praised the SC for upholding the Constitution.

“We were all together when we heard the judgement and then were flooded with telephone calls. We are happy the Constitution has been upheld and the right thing has been done by the court. He (Nawaz) appreciates this and so do I,” said Mr Dar.

“But while it is indeed something to celebrate, there is also a serious crisis in the country and a bigger challenge lies ahead,” the PML-N leader said.

Mr Dar said the SC had made the correct decision by saying the ruling of the deputy speaker was not legal, adding that the consequential actions were also not legal. “Now after the vote of no-confidence takes place on April 9, in the event of its success, the assembly has to elect a new prime minister.

The Supreme Court judgement has bound the speaker to follow this,” he said.

Atika Rehman from London also contributed to the report

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2022

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