LAHORE/KARACHI: The opposition, nationalist and religious parties leaders on Tuesday hailed the Supreme Court decision regarding the disqualification of Yusuf Raza Gilani as prime minister and member of the National Assembly, and demanded that the government hold snap polls on an immediate basis as it had lost its credibility. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif said by disobeying the court’s verdict, Gilani not only dishonoured the judiciary but also hurt his own dignity.
Speaking during Geo News programme ‘Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Saath’, Nawaz Sharif described the disqualification of Yusuf Raza Gilani by the Supreme Court as true accountability.“No matter who becomes the new prime minister, he will have to write the letter (to the Swiss authorities to open graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari),” he said.
Nawaz described the present government as a perfect recipe for the country’s disaster if it continued to remain in power and stressed that the government should immediately hold general elections. “What is a single good thing that the present government has done so far to justify its further stay in power?” he asked.
The PML-N chief said the collective psyche of the present government and its coalition partners in the backdrop of the prevailing circumstance of the country was beyond comprehension.
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court, and said that a precedent has been set that no one is above the law.
In a statement, the PTI chairman Imran Khan said it must be remembered that this decision came on a petition filed by PTI. “The party took the decision to approach the apex court because after Yusuf Raza Gilani had been held in contempt, the speaker had no authority to question the decision. The speaker’s role was simply to transmit the superior court decision to the Election Commission, which she refused to do,” he said. This, Imran said, had created a situation of constitutional deadlock and it was necessary for the Supreme Court to adjudicate upon it.
Imran Khan called the decision historic because it had demarcated the limits of judicial and parliamentary authorities.Imran also said that the decision was a victory for the rule of law, supremacy of the constitution and in the final analysis for equity and justice.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the Supreme Court has upheld the constitution and rule of law by disqualifying Yusuf Raza Gilani.In a brief chat with media persons in Lahore after the SC verdict, Shahbaz said the PML-N’s movement “Go Zardari Go” would continue.
He ruled out that the PML-N would field a candidate for the post of prime minister.Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in an interview with a private TV channel said that the disqualification of Gilani by the Supreme Court has vindicated the stance of the PML-N. He said had Gilani gone after the 26th April verdict by the seven-member bench of the Supreme Court, it would have enhanced his reputation.
Chaudhry Nisar remarked that the SC verdict has fulfilled the old wish of Yusuf Raza Gilani.The PML-N and senior nationalist leaders from Sindh, Balochistan and other components of the opposition, in and outside the parliament, have said the judgment of the SC was expected, keeping in view the path adopted by the PPP.
Some senior nationalist leaders from Balochistan said the decision, under the circumstances when Pakistan was passing through a troubled phase, had conveyed a very wrong impression to the world but none other than PPP was responsible for it.
Senator Mushahidullah Khan, secretary information of PML-N, said that the opposition had been trying its best to show the truth to the PPP but the latter preferred adopting the path of confrontation. He said Gilani had lost the office when he was convicted by the court for not obeying the orders.
Senator Hasil Bazinjo, central leader of the National Party and a mainstream figure from Balochistan, said it was probably the greatest decision made so far when a sitting PM had been deprived of his office. However, he said, the PPP government, rather than going for any confrontation with the judiciary, should have written to the Swiss authorities which could have caused no damage to it.
Hasil Bazinjo said keeping in view the current situation of the country, the decision was really very shocking as a very negative impression had been conveyed to the world but it was the result of PPP’s own actions.
Central leader of Awami Tehrik and nationalist leader from Sindh, Ayaz Latif Palejo said that Zardari-Gilani government had done nothing for the people of Sindh in the past four years and merely gave the people troubles, tensions and worries.
To a question, he said the decision could create an element of sympathy for the PPP among Sindhis and the government could use Sindh card again. President PPP-Sherpao and another member of opposition benches in the National Assembly Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said that the SC verdict had been declared now and it was vital that new prime minister should play his role to improve the situation.
Sherpao said confrontation among institutions was not good for the country and the PM in waiting should take the country towards political stability and fulfil his duty well, until the next elections were announced and the caretaker set up came into being.
PTI leader Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri terming the SC verdict as historic said an impartial inquiry should be held in Malik Riaz and Arslan Iftikhar case, but it was not suitable to involve judiciary and judges in the case. He wondered that the Riaz-Arslan case emerged at a moment when most of the cases regarding the PM were about to be decided.
PML-N senior leader Senator Zaffar Ali Shah said no one could nullify the verdict of the Supreme Court, adding that the president could not issue any ordinance himself because he is bound to act on the advice of the prime minister. He said there is no prime minister in the country, hence he could not issue any ordinance.
Religious leaders also welcomed Gilani’s disqualification, saying it is a victory of constitution and democracy.Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Syed Munawar Hasan said this was it a bold and landmark decision, he asked President Zardari to announce fresh elections and nominate a new PM and ensure fair, free and impartial elections under a caretaker government.
JUI-S leader Maulana Samiul Haq said the ruling coalition continued its defiance of court decisions to plunder public money and had dragged the Supreme Court to an extent where it literally assumed the role of executive to bring the corrupt rule to an end. He said after Gilani was convicted on April 26 he should have resigned by respecting democracy.
Jamiat Ahle Hadith president Sajid Mir said the judgment was a victory of constitution and democracy and establishment of constitutional supremacy.JUP secretary general Qari Zawwar Bahadur said the so-called champions of democracy had brought humiliation for the democratic norms and now the PPP had no face to come up before the masses.JI Secretary General Liaquat Baloch said the PPP government had only disgraced itself by sticking to power after Gilani’s conviction in contempt case.