Leaders of opposition parties on Tuesday welcomed the apex court’s decicion to disqualify Yusuf Raza Gilani as the prime minister while the coalition partners also accepted the verdict.
“Yusuf Raza Gilani should have left his office the day he was convicted by the Supreme Court,” Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Sindh President Syed Ghous Ali Shah told The News when asked to comment on the development.
“Due to his stubborn attitude, he [Gilani] has lost his prestige and his lawyers and colleagues misled him.”
He lauded the court’s decision and said Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and other apex court judges were on the path of truth.
Former MNA Asadullah Bhutto of the Jamaat-e-Islami shared similar views and demanded that the government should immediately obey the Supreme Court’s orders.
“The government should keep aside the legal complications of the court’s verdict and remove Gilani as the prime minister.”
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) central leader and former federal minister Azam Khan Swati welcomed the court’s decision.
He pointed out that the court reached the decision on a petition filed by his party. He said the PTI filed the petition as the NA speaker had no authority to question the apex court’s decision to convict Gilani.
Swati said the speaker’s role was simply to transmit the superior court’s decision to the Election Commission, but she refused to do so, creating a situation of constitutional deadlock and it was necessary for the Supreme Court to adjudicate upon it.
“The decision is historic because it has demarcated the limits of judicial and parliamentary authority.”
The PTI leader said that it [the verdict] would set a precedent that once the superior judiciary had convicted someone, no non-judicial forum could challenge the ruling. “The obvious implication is that once a conviction from a court of law has attained finality, disqualification from the membership of a legislature would be automatic.”
He said the decision was a victory for the rule of law, the supremacy of the constitution and equity and justice. The PTI leader said his party saluted the Supreme Court for demonstrating that everyone was equal before the law whether he was a common man or a prime minister.
Sunni Tehreek chief Mohammed Sarwat Ejaz Qadri said Gilani was morally obliged to step down since the day he was convicted.
Jaffria Alliance spokesman Ali Ahmer told The News that Gilani should quit his office before it was too late. He said, “The nation is proud of the Supreme Court’s decision.”
The ruling party’s coalition partners were also of the view that the government should accept the apex court’s verdict.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) said it accepted the Supreme Court’s decision on Gilani’s disqualification.
In an urgently called meeting of the MQM Rabita Committee in London and Karachi, the party said it believed in the independence of judiciary and regarded it with dignity.
“The MQM is a democratic party and believes that the democratic process must continue in the country under all conditions. Confrontation between institutions should be avoided at every cost as it will not be in the interest of the country.”
Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Relief and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid central leader Haleem Adil Sheikh said the apex court’s orders should be respected.
Pakistan Muslim League-Functional leader and Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh also agreed with the others that the Supreme Court’s orders should be accepted.