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August 26, 2015

Many lawmakers still on stay orders


August 26, 2015

ISLAMABAD: While calls have been made to Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to bow to the judgement of the election tribunal and refrain from appealing against it, not a single federal or provincial lawmaker from the present or previous lot has ever accepted an adverse decision of the first court and everyone approached the Supreme Court for reversal of such rulings.
Similarly, Ayaz Sadiq’s bid to get the decision of the Lahore election tribunal suspended temporarily and subsequently overturned permanently is not unusual. This is an unquestionable norm.
Likewise, there had been several instances when some MPs had lived their full parliamentary lives on stay orders, as the courts could not decide the pleas at an early date. Such MPs belonged to all the political parties.
Every affected MP has been using all his sources and resources to get the verdict of the lower court or tribunal annulled by superior judicial forums. Their concern has also been to get their honour vindicated through the judgements of higher courts.
At present Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, who was unseated by an election tribunal for irregularities committed by the election staff, is also continuing as MP after the suspension of this ruling by the Supreme Court. There are many other MPs, who are surviving only due to temporary court orders while the final decisions are yet to be handed down on their pleas or petitions against them. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member of the National Assembly (MNA) Murad Saeed faces grave questions on his university degree that he allegedly got from the University of Peshawar (UoP).
The UoP has told the Peshawar High Court (PHC) that Murad Saeed’s detailed marks certificate does not have its official stamp. A degree can only be provided once he passes three papers which he had not cleared earlier, it said adding that Saeed has to pass three papers in order to obtain his BS Environmental Sciences degree, and a course completion certificate, which was

issued by a clerk, is insufficient for the release of the degree.
Saeed claimed that he attended the UoP from 2005 to 2009 for his undergraduate study and passed all his courses in this period. The environmental sciences department chairman had issued a course completion certificate on November 26, 2009 and despite repeated attempts, Saeed was informed that the varsity administration will send his degree by post.
Similarly, Tribal Area MNA Qaisar Jamal, belonging to the PTI, who was elected from NA-47, was unseated by an election tribunal but is continuing on a stay issued by the apex court.
Same is the case with another PTI MNA Rai Hassan Nawaz, elected from NA-167, who was disqualified for having made mis-declarations in his nomination papers, is also staying alive on an order of the Supreme Court.
The case of Ghulam Sarwar Khan, PTI MNA elected from NA-53 Rawalpindi, is no different. He is also relying on an order of a superior court. A case is going on against him on the question of his educational degree.
The petition of PTI’s Usman Dar is pending disposal in the apex court. His petition challenging the victory of Defence Minister Khawaja M Asif from NA-110 Sialkot had been dismissed by an election tribunal.
In its decision, the tribunal had written that the way Dar avoided entering the witness box and disregarded the directions of this forum on the pretext of business tour abroad, provides a basis to infer that he is no more interested in the matter. Costs of adjournments to the tune of Rs30,000 have not been paid by him till date. It appears that after filing the election petition, Dar lost interest and then attempted to prolong the trial, the order said adding that he failed to prove the allegations.
Another PTI MNA Ijaz Chaudhry, elected from NA-108 Mandi Bahauddin, survived as an MP on the order of the Supreme Court for quite some time but was finally disqualified by it. Later, by-election was held and the seat was won by the PML-N.
Raja Amir Zaman, elected from NA-19 Haripur, faced re-polling in six polling stations on the direction of an election tribunal. In this electoral exercise, the defeated candidate Omar Ayub of the PML-N won. However, later the Supreme Court ordered fresh election, which the PML-N won recently.
Nearly a dozen PML-N MPs have so far been unseated by the election tribunals. This is the highest number of decisions against any political party. Comparatively, the judgments against the PTI lawmakers are extremely few.

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