ISLAMABAD: While the ruling coalition rejected the Supreme Court’s verdict on Punjab chief minister’s election and called it a day of “start of another phase of independence of judiciary”, the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) termed the decision “supremacy of the Constitution” and decided to observe ‘thanksgiving day’ on Wednesday (today).
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders said on Tuesday that the formation of a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial to hear the case was evident of the fact that the apex court’s verdict would become controversial.
PML-N supremo and self-exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif expressed disappointment over the verdict and said in a tweet: “The country has turned into a theatre — salute to three judges.”
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the SC verdict had given a shock to the hopes of people, legal fraternity, petitioners and media for justice. In a tweet after the verdict, he said it was a demand of the reputation of the judiciary and justice that a full court should have been formed. “With the formation of the full court bench, justice would have not only to be done but it would have appeared to be done.”
Nawaz says country has turned into a ‘theatre — salute to three judges’; Imran announces ‘thanksgiving day’ today
Terming the SC decision “judicial murder of democracy”, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman called a meeting of the ruling alliance on Thursday (tomorrow) to discuss the verdict.
In a statement, he said they had neither accepted any military dictatorship nor would accept “judicial martial law”.
At a press conference, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the rejection of government’s plea to form a full court had already made controversial the verdict of the apex court. “The second phase of a campaign regarding independence of judiciary has started that was first launched by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif,” she added.
Just after the apex court announced its verdict, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz tweeted: “JUDICIAL COUP”.
In another tweet, she said: “Murder of justice unacceptable!” A graphic image in the tweet says: “A public question! Why are there two different verdicts in similar cases? Nizam-e-Tehreek-i-Insaf Namanzoor (the system of Tehreek-i-Insaf is unacceptable).”
Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety and central information secretary of the PPP Shazia Atta Marri termed the verdict of the apex court “very disappointing” and “regrettable”.
In a statement, she said the court had announced the same decision at the night about which the PTI leaders had been talking since morning. “Courts make decisions according to the law and justice, but not according to conscience. The judiciary is writing a new constitution,” she added.
She regretted that the supremacy and powers of parliament were being attacked.
On the other hand, PTI chairman Imran Khan appreciated the three-judge SC bench for “upholding the Constitution and law against all manner of threats and abuse”. In his reaction to the verdict, he said his party would observe ‘thanksgiving day’ on Wednesday.
PTI chairman said: “I appreciate our SC judges for standing firm and upholding the Constitution and law, against all manner of threats and abuse.”
He also thanked Barrister Ali Zafar and his team and the people of Punjab for coming out in unprecedented numbers during by-elections against rigging.
“Tomorrow [Wednesday] evening we will offer thanks to Allah and celebrate with all the people of Pakistan who have stood by us in our campaign for Haqeeqi Azadi, coming out in massive numbers to show support,” he announced.
PTI vice president Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the SC decision had upheld the Constitution and the rule of law in the country.
Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2022