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April 1, 2009

Shahbaz 2nd CM restored by court


April 1, 2009


PAKISTAN Muslim League (Nawaz) President Shahbaz Sharif has become the second chief minister of the province who was restored through a court’s order after being removed from the office.

Prior to this, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, who lost office in a no confidence move in 1995 was restored to office by the court in 1996 and was back to the top provincial slot for a brief period. However, in a case of different nature, Shahbaz, who was disqualified earlier by the court on February 25 has been given interim relief and restored to the office by a five members’ bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan. Interestingly, his brother and PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif had also got prime ministership back through an SC verdict in 1993 after being dismissed by the then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan.

History of Punjab shows that only two CMs of the province have been able to get back their offices after losing them.

Mian Manzoor Wattoo who became the CM in coalition with PPP in 1993 continued to hold the office until 1995. It was the mistrust of PPP and his own party members over him which eventually deprived Wattoo of his office and Arif Nakai of PML-Junejo was made the CM with PPP’s consent.

Following the dismissal of Benazir Bhutto’s government in 1996, Manzoor Wattoo, who had filed appeal for the restoration of his government was allowed to assume office on November 3, 1996 and continued to hold the office only for 13 days, till November 16, 1996 as the caretaker setup was announced by the then President Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari.

After some 13 years, another CM of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, has been restored to office. Shahbaz Sharif, who was disqualified by an SC bench including Justice Musa K Leghari, Sheikh Hakim Ali and Sakhi Hussain Bokhari on February 25 this year had assumed the office for second time on June 8, 2008.

Earlier, he had also served as CM Punjab from 20, 1997 to October 12, 1999. The review petition

was filed by the government to challenge the disqualification of Shahbaz Sharif and the five-member bench of SC including Justice Tassaduq Hussain Gillani, Justice Nasir ul Mulk, Justice Musa K Leghari, Justice Sheikh Hakim Ali and Justice Sabih ud Din Ahmed provided interim relief to Shahbaz and restored his government.

Another interesting feature of Shahbaz Sharif’s restoration to the office of CM was its striking resemblance with the restoration of his brother, Nawaz Sharif’s government in 1993.

Nawaz Sharif’s government was dismissed by the then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on April 18, 1993. The petition challenging the decision was filed and on May 26, 1993, the court restored Nawaz’s government.

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