LAHORE: Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema on Saturday refused to accept the resignation of Usman Buzdar as the chief minister on constitutional grounds.
The Governor wrote to the Punjab Assembly speaker that the resignation of Usman Buzdar did not meet the requirements of sub-section 8 of Article 130 of the Constitution.
The Governor, in his letter, asked the PA speaker to take constitutional steps to restore Usman Buzdar as the Leader of the House.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has claimed that since the resignation of Usman Buzdar has not been accepted, he remains the chief minister.
Following the rejection of Usman Buzdar’s resignation by the Punjab Governor, a meeting of the Punjab cabinet was held in the Punjab Assembly under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.
According to a statement issued by the cabinet, it expressed concern over the situation at the Governor’s House. The meeting also discussed that the swearing-in of Hamza Shehbaz in the presence of orders of the Punjab Governor would create further constitutional crisis in the province.
The meeting also discussed PTI MPAs’ intra-court appeal being heard by the high court and decided that no step would be taken pending court orders. The meeting asked the administration and police not to be a party to the matter. It said the meeting was held under the orders from the Governor and its constitutional and legal status was certain. The meeting also declared election of Hamza Shehbaz as controversial, unconstitutional and illegal. There is a proper forum and the court is being approached in this regard, it said.
Meanwhile, security and protocol have been withdrawn from Usman Buzdar.
On Saturday, Usman Buzdar arrived in the Punjab Assembly with security personnel to preside over a Punjab cabinet meeting. However, the security personnel accompanying Buzdar left after learning about Hamza Shehbaz's oath-taking. Three security personnel of Usman Buzdar’s protocol were left. They also left him later. When asked if the security had been withdrawn from him, Buzdar said that he had sent back some of his staff. Later, Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi told a presser that they had always respected the judiciary and never treated them like the Sharifs. He said the PMLN was responsible for the constitutional crisis in the province.
The PA speaker said: "It is a matter of a few days and the news will be something else. We have always respected the judiciary and never treated them like the Sharifs. There is a question mark over this whole situation. Today there is a question mark in front of people. Our lawyers stood outside the court all night but it did not open, on the other hand, everything is in front of you. At present, the PMLN is responsible for the constitutional crisis in the province. If the PMLN had waited for 28 days, this constitutional crisis would not have arisen.”
Ch Pervaiz Elahi said he himself was a candidate for the slot of the chief minister. At the behest of Hamza Shehbaz, he was tortured and he passed out.
“Hamza Shehbaz is not the chief minister. His election is controversial. It will not be considered constitutional. This whole process is illegal. On the day of the election, the proceedings of the assembly were impeded. The election takes place on the floor of the assembly and not in the Visitor’s Gallery,” he said.
"Where we were to cast our vote as the lobby was blocked by the police. The police entered the house which we consider sacred. In this place we did the work for religion, legislated on Khatam-e-Nabuwwat and made the teaching of the Holy Quran compulsory till matriculation.” He said that the Governor was a representative of the federation and the President would not remain silent.
Former law minister Raja Basharat along with other ministers told journalists that the Governor had issued a constitutional and legal notification restoring Chief Minister Usman Bazdar and Cabinet. He said that the oath taken by Hamza after the notification had no constitutional standing.
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