Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (L), JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman (R) PML-N stalwart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (C) addressing a press conference after Supreme Courts hearing on July 25, 2022. — Screengrab Geo News
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (L), JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman (R) PML-N stalwart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (C) addressing a press conference after Supreme Court’s hearing on July 25, 2022. — Screengrab Geo News
  • JUI-F chief Fazl says govt doesn’t want any institution to interfere in its matters.
  • “When a decision is being taken about an institution, entire bench should hear the case,” Bilawal adds.
  • PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says this is“test of the Supreme Court now”.

ISLAMABAD: Following the Supreme Court’s decision to continue the hearing on the Punjab chief minister’s election with the current three-member bench, the ruling coalition has decided to boycott the hearing scheduled to be held tomorrow, the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) leadership announced.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan Monday rejected the petition seeking the formation of a full bench for hearing the case of the Punjab chief minister’s election — where Hamza Shahbaz defeated Pervez Elahi.

Addressing a press conference at the Prime Minister’s House, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said if the Supreme Court doesn’t form a full court, “then we [PDM] will also reject all decisions of the judiciary as we will not appear before this three-member bench.”

“We boycott the proceedings the apex court,” Fazl announced, adding that the coalition government doesn’t want any institution to interfere in its matters.

Fazl, who is also the chief of the PDM, said that the counsellors of the government’s alliance advised the jury according to the Constitution. “The top court, however, considered our demand impartially and rejected our petition.”

Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and PPP Co-Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that when a decision is being taken about an institution, the entire bench should hear the case.

Bilawal, while endorsing Fazl’s statement, said that the PPP, along with all other alliance parties of the PDM, has decided to boycott the court proceedings.

‘This is Supreme Court’s test’

PML-N’s senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that this was the “test of the Supreme Court now”. He further added that the PDM had warned if the decision was taken by a full court, only then it would be accepted by the people of Pakistan.

Abbasi went on to say that the three judges of the existing bench had the responsibility to decide whether or not history would accept their conduct.

It should be noted that adjourning the hearing till 11:30 am tomorrow, the court announced that a three-member bench — headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar — will hear the petition filed by the PML-Q and PTI regarding Hamza Shahbaz being elected as the chief minister of Punjab.

The press conference followed a huddle of the government leaders at the Prime Minister’s House after the verdict was announced.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Fazl, and Bilawal were among the senior political leaders and government figures in attendance.

Leaders of the MQM-P, members of ANP, BAP, BNP and other government-allied parties were also present at the huddle, along with other senior PML-N figures.

‘Fear of contradiction’: Maryam

Earlier, taking to her Twitter account in reaction to the SC’s verdict, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz stated that there was only one reason for not forming a full court — “fear”.

“Fear of the contradiction of its own decision,” PML-N stalwart wrote.

Saying that she was “almost sure” that a full court will not be formed, Maryam added that when decisions aren’t taken in accordance with the Constitution, law, and justice, then the formation of a full court is “deemed dangerous.”

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