ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on Thursday demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani after he was convicted of contempt of court.
“Prime minister should immediately resign. He should step down without causing further crisis,” PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif said live on Geo News, also calling for fresh elections. “The court’s verdict is based on truth and reality. It must have punished the prime minister with a heavy heart, but the prime minister himself is to be blamed.”
“The prime minister himself invited this situation,” he added.
Sharif said the PML-N will decide its future course of action if Gilani attends parliamentary sessions after the sentence.
PTI chief Imran Khan, holding a press conference stated that Gilani, in light of the Supreme Court order, is no longer the prime minister of Pakistan. “He has lost all moral authority, so he should quit office from today.”
If Gilani doesn’t resign, the PTI will bring out a ‘tsunami march’ which will be the biggest show in the history of Pakistan, the party leaders threatened and added that the media will be briefed about the march after the completion of the legal process in the Supreme Court.
The PTI chief added that Gilani is only standing for the president of the country, rather than standing for the people and criticised all political leaders who joined the prime minister in the Supreme Court. “They are also covering corruption.”
“Who will follow the laws if the chief executive of the government breaches the law,” he added.
PTI leader Hamid Khan rejected the arguments presented by Gilani’s lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan and also called for the attorney general to resign from his post. “He was defending the prime minister without having fulfilled the constitutional obligation.”
JI chief Munawar Hassan also urged the prime minister to quit as he had “lost moral ground” after the judgment.
“The prime minister should have himself declared by now that I am no more prime minister,” he said.
“The Supreme Court sentenced him in an honourable manner and it also got its verdict implemented. He is now a convicted person and he cannot remain prime minister now,” Hassan told Geo.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement calls for meeting
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has called for a meeting of its legal and constitutional experts to discuss the Supreme Court convicting Gilani of contempt charges and will issue a statement after it hears from experts.
Gilani was convicted of contempt of court by the Supreme Court of Pakistan but was given only a token sentence in a case that could still see him thrown out of office.
The Supreme Court found the prime minister guilty of contempt over his refusal to obey an order to write to the authorities in Switzerland to ask them to re-open graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Gilani had faced a maximum sentence of six months in prison, but the court ordered him to be “imprisoned” until the hearing adjourned and he emerged shortly afterwards smiling and waving to supporters.