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PML-N warns against bid to undermine SC

June 28, 2012

ISLAMABAD, June 28: The opposition PML-N decided on Thursday to oppose every government move to strike at judiciary either through a legislation or a constitution amendment.

“The most incompetent and corrupt government in the history of Pakistan and its self-seeking allies must see the writing on the wall and avoid an adventure they can never win and which might eventually bring about their downfall,” Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said in a statement issued from London and released by his Parliament House office.

The statement was issued in the wake of reports that the government was considering various options, including legislations, in response to a notice sent by the Supreme Court to the newly-elected Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in the NRO judgment implementation case.

Soon after the Supreme Court set July 12 as the date for the new prime minister to come up with his response to the court’s earlier verdict regarding writing a letter to the Swiss authorities to reopen the money-laundering case against PPP Co-Chairman and President Asif Ali Zardari, Mr Ashraf called Attorney General Irfan Qadir and Law Minister Farooq Naek to his office giving credence to media reports that the government was preparing some laws to clip the powers of the Supreme Court and to change or repeal the law of contempt.

A PPP source told Dawn on Thursday that the option of promulgating an ordinance to repeal the law of contempt of court under which former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had been disqualified by the Supreme Court, was being discussed in government circles.

However, the source said, such a move could negate the claims made by the PPP in the Supreme Court that no contempt of court law existed in the country.

A number of leaders of the PPP and its allies have also hinted at the possibility of changing the law which bars holders of dual nationality from contesting elections.

In his statement, Chaudhry Nisar said: “If anybody is under the misconception that an incompetent, corrupt and failing government has the capacity or the right to strike at the only institution which enjoys massive popular support -- the Supreme Court -- then he should clear his head.”

The opposition, he said, would never let that happen, and the PML-N would not be a party to any amendment to the Constitution seeking to subvert or change the Supreme Court verdict on dual nationality.

“We will oppose with all our strength any and every government plan to limit or circumvent the role, authority or powers of the SC.”

The opposition leader said that the government could not amend the Constitution since it did not have the required two-thirds majority in the 342-member lower house.

“This was proved not only in the recent election of the prime minister but also during the vote on the 20th Amendment,” he said.

The PML-N has already declared that after the departure of Yousuf Raza Gilani it is not ready to engage with the government on any issue other than early general elections.