PM to seek more time from SC: PPP

Supreme Court

ISLAMABAD: Reiterating the stance to avoid any clash between the state institutions, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) expressed its resolve to work for the supremacy of Constitution and Parliament with the policy of reconciliation and consensus as guiding principle for the future political discourse.

The core committee of the party met, with party co-chairman President Asif Ali Zardari in the chair, at Awan-i-Sadr on Tuesday night and discussed the overall political situation in the country with particular reference to the persistent standoff between the government and the apex judiciary.The government’s strategy to argue the NRO implementation case also came under sharp focus and it was decided that party’s lawyers would contest it in a forceful manner in the apex court.

The party leaders also considered various names to be appointed as the prime minister’s counsel in the case but no name could be finalised yet. However, it was decided that on next date of hearing, the prime minister would sought time from the apex court for appointment of lawyer, while the government could directly take shield behind Article 248. The final strategy in connection with the case would be decided in a meeting to be held a couple of days before the date of hearing.President Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had a one-on-one meeting ahead of the core committee meeting of the party.

Sources in the party informed that both the leaders had a detailed discussion on volatile political situation in the country, the cases facing the top party leadership in the superior courts and the matters relating to the coalition partners.President Zardari appreciated the appointment of a consensus chief election commissioner (CEC) and also informed the premier about his telephonic contact with the new CEC.Prime Minister Ashraf also briefed the president about his recently concluded visit to Saudi Arabia, while the matters relating to his upcoming Afghanistan’s visit also discussed between the two.

Later, the central leaders of the party including Naveed Qamar, Jahangir Badar, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Khursheed Shah, Manzoor Wattoo, Nazar Muhammad Gondal and Rehman Malik joined them and held discussion on the overall political situation in the country with the possibility of engaging the main opposition party in the formulation of the caretaker setup.It was the consensus view of the participants of the meeting that the government would not enter into any clash with the superior judiciary and would contest their case remaining with the constitutional and legal limits. The PPP leadership, however, stressed the need that all the state organs should work within their defined constitutional limits, sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting further informed.

It was also the considered view of the party that the government would not write letter to the Swiss authorities and not deviate from its principled stand, but at the same time, it reiterated its commitment that they would not breach the sanctity of the superior judiciary.The PPP leadership also considered engagement with opposition parties in connection with the caretaker setup, but expressed its resolve that the PPP must complete its mandated constitutional term and general elections would be arranged in early next year, the sources further said.Sources said both the president and the prime minister were of the view that being the major political force in the country, the PPP could not say no to any offer of negotiations, be it the appointment of CEC or formation of the caretaker setup.

They were of the view that they must engage the opposition parties in parleys on formation of caretaker setup, both at the federal and provincial levels, but the party was determined that the elections should be held in early next year on completion of the mandated term of the incumbent government.The sources further said though the local bodies were no more in the purview of the federal government, but the matter of holding the local bodies elections ahead of next general elections also came under discussion as the PPP had stakes in all the four provinces.

The sources further said Prime Minister Ashraf gave a detailed briefing on the energy crisis in the country and his government’s strategy to hold overcome it. He also informed the senior leadership of the party about the special arrangements to be made by the party for upcoming holy month of Ramazan.It was consensus view of the party leadership that the government must bring the power crisis under control before the next general elections. – Nation