LAHORE: Chief organiser of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Maryam Nawaz has said that former premier Imran Khan desires to be ‘selected again’, this time through what she called ‘judicial establishment’.
“This time Imran Khan has found ‘judicial establishment’ for his selection [as prime minister], while the remnants of Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa are still there in the [military] establishment,” she told a gathering of PML-N lawyers’ wing at her Jati Umra residence here on Sunday.
According to her, the PTI is demanding immediate elections only because a new chief justice of Pakistan would take charge in October while PTI’s politics revolved around some appointments.
“First they relied on the establishment and now the judiciary. They tried to make the army chief’s appointment controversial. They have always depended on facilitators. Now, they are banking on the remnants of the former establishment to save them.”
Asks for guarantee that PTI chief will accept mandate if PML-N wins polls
Referring to retired Gen Bajwa’s interview in which the former army chief reportedly said that judges would give verdicts under pressure of their spouses and offspring, Ms Nawaz claimed that the day the Panama Papers verdict against her father and then prime minister Nawaz Sharif was announced, the families of then chief justice Saqib Nisar and Justice Asif Saeed Khosa were present in the courtroom and they had “prior knowledge of the verdict”.
While criticising the judiciary over its alleged preferential treatment towards Mr Khan, the PML-N leader lamented that the PTI chief got bail in as many as 12 cases in just ‘five minutes’. She said Mr Khan abrogated the Constitution as prime minister and the Supreme Court also ruled against him, yet he got off scot-free as the state looked on. “In fact such an act warrants trial under Article 6,” she remarked.
The PML-N leader said the landmark decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan in the PTI ‘prohibited’ funding case mentioned irrefutable evidence, yet no court touched the PTI chief. Criticising the “favourable” treatment, she claimed to have information about certain people in the Lahore High Court who would create chaos in the country if exposed.
On the other hand, she added, injustices were done against her father. “Nawaz Sharif and I, and even Rana Sanaullah, went to court without any armed mobs, surrendered before the law and suffered imprisonment. Why is Imran getting favourable treatment? Who is still protecting him?” she questioned.
Referring to the alleged audio of former Punjab chief minister Parvez Elahi about ‘bench fixing’ for certain cases, Ms Nawaz declared the note sent by Justice Mazahar Ali Naqvi and Justice Ijazul Ahsan to the chief justice for taking suo motu notice on provincial elections as well as the consequent verdict was controversial.
“If judges are…facilitating someone, they should be proceeded against. Audios have been leaked to prove it. There cannot be selective application of the Constitution,” said the senior vice-president of the PML-N.
Ms Nawaz did admit that elections were a solution to all the problems being faced by the country, but hastened to add that political stability was needed for holding the polls. She claimed her party was not scared of elections, but there were some ‘constitutional hurdles’.
What’s the guarantee?
The chief organiser of the ruling PML-N also asked who would guarantee that Mr Khan would accept the mandate if polls to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies were held and won by the PML-N. Even if the PTI won in KP, what is the guarantee he won’t dissolve the assembly again?
Ms Nawaz also demanded that the coalition government file a treason case against the PTI chairman in the Supreme Court for violating the Constitution and attacking the state (institutions) from his Zaman Park residence. Mr Khan had been launched by foreign superpowers to create chaos and anarchy in Pakistan and for that purpose he dissolved both Punjab and KP assemblies, she alleged, adding that the state would have to forcibly stop him. “The state cannot be held hostage to his whims.”
Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2023
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