ISLAMABAD: Following in the footsteps of its main rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the ruling coalition has also started exerting pressure on state institutions, and vowed to fight the “darkness of fascism”.

On the other hand, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz claimed the “Constitution was being interpreted to benefit PTI Chairman Imran Khan”.

The ruling alliance, on Saturday, issued a declaration, demanding the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) constitute a full court of the Supreme Court to hear the petition against the Punjab chief minister’s election, calling it “an important national, political and constitutional matter”.

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The declaration stated that the Constitution had drawn a clear line of authority between the legislature, judiciary, and the administration, which an “arrogant, anti-constitution and fascist” person was trying to erase.

Joint statement says Imran ‘creating chaos’ to avoid accountability, hide corruption, and regain power through covert means

The component parties of the ruling coalition, including the PML-N, PPP, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) among others, said in the declaration that they would not compromise on the Constitution, democracy, and the right of the people to rule.

“All the coalition parties will move forward together on every platform and in every field to eradicate the darkness of fascism,” the document said.

The joint statement said former premier Imran Khan was repeatedly creating chaos in politics to avoid accountability, conceal his corruption and regain power through covert means. “He (Imran) wants the system as well as the economy to go bankrupt,” it alleged.

The ruling parties said Mr Khan’s mentality and behaviour were proving detrimental to the affairs of the state.

Moreover, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah in a statement said “courts’ decisions are like open books” for the people. He said the current political crisis had emerged after 25 votes polled in favour of the ruling coalition were rejected in the last election for the Punjab chief minister in April.

Also, Punjab Home Minister Ataullah Tarar said the formation of a full court had now become all the more necessary in view of the constitutional crisis prevailing in the country’s most populous province for the last several months.

PPP leader and federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman remarked that Friday’s chief minister’s election was in line with the Supreme Court’s decision.

“Imran Khan is challenging the elections, but on what basis? Why is PTI forgetting that it was them that had gone to the Supreme Court with a presidential reference filed by President Arif Alvi in May to seek the interpretation of Article 63A, after which the SC decided that votes of dissident members of parliament would not be counted,” she added.

She said Imran Khan, ever-popular for his U-turns, was now at the SC’s doorstep asking it to reinterpret Article 63A. “This isn’t some back-and-forth game Imran Khan should be allowed to play. There is hope that a full bench of the Supreme Court will interpret this constitutional issue. It is hypocritical of the PTI now when the votes of 10 members of PML-Q have been rejected, to create uproar for the same decision taken during May this year. Imran Khan’s job, it seems, is to protect his power and serve his unbridled narcissism,” she lashed out, adding that in April, as the party chairman, he had directed Punjab MPAs to vote for Parvez Elahi.

Now, they could not suddenly say the head of the parliamentary party got to decide who the members voted for, she added.

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2022

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