LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday sought replies from the federal and provincial governments on the petition of a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MPA against alleged harassment to the members of the party and to ensure a fair and transparent election of the chief minister of Punjab taking place on July 22.
At the outset of the hearing, Justice Aalia Neelum asked Advocate Azhar Siddique, the petitioner’s counsel, as to who harassed his client MPA Zainab Umair.
The lawyer alleged that the petitioner faced harassment at the hands of Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan.
“Where is she now?” the judge asked the counsel about his client.
The counsel said the petitioner was in the Punjab Assembly to attend a session.
The judge asked the counsel whether the petitioner faced any harassment at the assembly or someone restrained her from attending the session.
Advocate Siddique said MPAs of the PTI received threatening messages from police on their Whatsapp.
Justice Neelum directed the counsel to affix the record of the alleged threatening messages with the petition. The judge also advised the counsel to avoid drafting unnecessarily lengthy petitions.
A provincial law officer questioned the maintainability of the petition and asked the court to dismiss the same.
The judge, however, turned down the request and sought replies form the respondents by Thursday (today).
Petitioner Ms Umair contended in her petition that there were apprehensions that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan would use the state machinery to sabotage the election of the chief minister.
She said after the victory of PTI in the by-election, the government could harass the members of her party. She said there was a possibility that the government would resort to coercive measures to keep the PTI MPAs away from the polling for the chief minister.
Ms Umair asked the court to order the authorities to ensure a fair and transparent election on July 22 and free participation of all candidates and members of the assembly in it.
‘HORSE TRADING’: PTI MPA Zainab Umair also approached the Supreme Court with a request to take action against the alleged ‘horse trading’ in the upcoming election of the chief minister of Punjab.
The MPA filed a petition at the Lahore registry of the SC pleading that the government did not make legislation to curb ‘horse trading’ despite a direction by the court. She alleged that the coalition government was alluring PTI MPAs against huge money.
She asked the court to take notice of the situation and order the government to make legislation so that the menace of ‘horse trading’ could be rooted out from the politics of the country.
Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2022