Premier’s plea: Probe Musa since Arsalan’s case is out of bounds, CJ told

Published: June 11, 2012

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani addressing media representatives in Lahore. PHOTO: PPI

LAHORE: The premier was quick to draw a parallel between himself and Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Sunday.

“I don’t have the right to investigate cases against my sons, and in the same way the rules of procedure constrain the CJ from hearing a case against his own son (Arsalan Iftikhar). I voluntarily surrendered my sons before the apex court for investigating the cases against them,” Yousaf Raza Gilani told journalists at the state guest house here.

“The cases against my sons in the Hajj scam and the latest allegations in the ephedrine case are based on rumours. I have been facing allegations for the last four years, but I did not mind it,” Gilani added.

At the same time, the premier was keen to downplay any political consequences of the case involving the chief justice’s son. Asked whether he or the army would benefit from the case, he quickly shot down the possibility.

Replying to a question about whether the cases involving the sons of both the heads of the judiciary and the government bore signs of reprisal, the premier insisted that he had a good relationship with the judiciary in spite of his recent conviction. Such negative statements should be avoided, he added.

Referring to the alleged involvement of a real estate tycoon in the case, the premier said, “Malik Riaz has good relations with almost all significant people in the country.”

Asked whether the federal government would demand that the chief justice detach himself from hearing the case challenging the NA speaker’s ruling, the prime minister said that everyone ought to remain within their constitutional limits.

“I have been elected by the people, (I haven’t come to power) with the support of the judiciary. We don’t play one-day cricket, we believe in Test cricket,” he added.

Elections

Prime Minister Gilani said that the next target for the federal government was to hold local government elections. According to a Supreme Court ruling, he said, all provincial governments must now hold local government elections. These should be carried out on a party basis, he added. Results would only be legitimate if there is a turnout of at least 51 per cent.

Asked whether the PPP would participate in the local body elections on a non-party basis, he said, “We will cross that bridge when we come to it.”

South Punjab province

Referring to PPP’s efforts to carve out a new province in  South Punjab, Premier Gilani said the president has called for a commission on new provinces, and that the speaker would soon constitute this commission. His own role in this panel, however, was unclear. The premier said it was the speaker’s prerogative to include or exclude him from the commission.

He took the chance, however, to lash out at the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), saying that the Punjab government had ‘exposed’ its hesitance to form a new province, as it has not allocated funds for either proposed province (Bahalwapur and South Punjab) in the budget.

He added that the provincial government had failed to generate even one unit of electricity, and expressed concern over the PML-N’s ‘attacks’ on the government in court and in parliament.

Asked about dual nationality, Gilani said that if Pakistan granted its expatriates the right to vote, then there should be no restrictions on them becoming legislators.

CJ remains last hope for country: Shahbaz

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Sunday that all segments of civil society had played their due role in the movement for the restoration of judiciary in 2007, and the treatment being meted out today to the institution is deplorable.

“Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is the last remaining hope for supremacy of law and order in the country. If any attempt is made to topple him, ‘thugs’ will dominate the country,” remarked Shahbaz, while talking to reporters in Lahore.

“Only judges can determine the exact nature of what is happening to the judiciary now. However, if any harm comes to it, this nation’s wealth will be plundered,” he said, referring to Dr Arsalan Iftikhar issue.

Shahbaz asserted that the urgency of the circumstances require that the whole nation stand by the judiciary during the current crisis.

“Asif Ali Zardari had earlier offered that cases against us be withdrawn if the ‘Dogar Raj’ was extended,” said Shahbaz, referring to the PCO judges of the Musharraf era.

“However, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz turned down this offer, renewing its pledge to continue its struggle for the independence of judiciary in the country,” said an emphatic Shahbaz.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • ali
    Jun 11, 2012 - 5:51AM

    haha…too little too late…

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  • Shah
    Jun 11, 2012 - 6:13AM

    We ain’t stupid Mr. Gillani, I think we know how much of innocent is your son and how much of innocent is our beloved chief justices son is. You don’t need to draw our attention to it. Thanks

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  • Abid
    Jun 11, 2012 - 6:13AM

    I just cant wait for this guy to step down.

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  • Chacha Fazlu
    Jun 11, 2012 - 6:32AM

    Nice try! Mr. Prime Minister.

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  • Imran
    Jun 11, 2012 - 6:38AM

    Awesome . Nice slap on the face of the corrupt PCO CJ.

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  • A Ali
    Jun 11, 2012 - 6:50AM

    Noora Kushti

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  • Mirza
    Jun 11, 2012 - 6:57AM

    I think the CJ should take this offer and decide PM’s son’s cases. Obviously the CJ had time for his own son’s case, why not take the opportunity to take these cases?
    S. Sharif is talking about Doger court as if it was not Gen Mush but the PPP govt which appointed Doger and put the high judiciary in detention. Let us be honest for a change and not treat everything with malice. Why don’t the Sharifs chase their tormentor, Mush and file caseds against him in the SC instead of HH?

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  • jibran
    Jun 11, 2012 - 7:46AM

    With Arsalan Iftikhar as the front man, the credibility of the justice is at the lowest ebb.

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  • k. Salim Jahangir
    Jun 11, 2012 - 8:19AM

    Mr,Gillani,wait & have patience, your sons turn is just around the corner.

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  • Falcon
    Jun 11, 2012 - 9:14AM

    Another act of useless political gimmickry…

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  • Shahrukh kazmi
    Jun 11, 2012 - 9:44AM

    His Gody chair says it all!

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  • Rana
    Jun 11, 2012 - 10:15AM

    Illegitimate PM trying to be over smart!!! Collective devil forces may have been succeeded to trick the guy into the mess.

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  • Jun 11, 2012 - 11:59AM

    sir, you are right.

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  • Beatle
    Jun 11, 2012 - 3:14PM

    Is he taunting or serious in his offer?
    Difficult to make.

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  • Asima
    Jun 12, 2012 - 2:58AM

    It is quite likely that the most honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan knows nothing of the business and associates of his son. But I would expect that as a father the Chief Justice of Pakistan would know a thing or two about how his son got into a Medical College and then in the Police Academy.
    May be some others would also know if there is any connection between FC and ISI honchos being summoned before the court in the Disappeared Persons case and Asghar Khan case, and Dr Arsalan Iftikhar being targeted. After all hunting Shudras is one thing, and looking at Brahmins askance, quite another.

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  • Real
    Jun 12, 2012 - 9:02PM

    @Shah:
    So how much innocent their sons are?

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