Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah has issued a stern warning to judges of the Lahore High Court (LHC) in light of their statements against Parliament during a hearing on new provinces a day earlier.
Shah issued the warning on Saturday after inaugurating a utility store located on Military road in Sukkur.
On Friday, an LHC judge had said that the incumbent Parliament and political parties have no mandate to create new provinces. He passed the remarks after hearing petitions questioning the legal status of a parliamentary commission on new provinces.
Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan pointed out that political parties represented in Parliament had not contested the previous elections with the manifesto of new provinces.
Hitting back, Shah said sitting judges should refrain from issuing remarks against Parliament, warning that they would not be spared the consequences. He cautioned the judges of the Lahore High Court to remain within their constitutional limits while passing remarks against any institution and added that the matter would be taken up in Parliament.
Shah went on to say that Parliament is an independent institution and holds a five-year mandate and can therefore, continue its work until the completion of its tenure. All institutions, he maintained, should work within the boundaries provided by the Constitution.
“We have shown enough restraint during the past five years and our prime minister and other ministers have appeared before the courts, though cases were not proven against them,” he added.
“We have tried to prevent anarchy in the country and therefore, we have taken all decisions with utmost care, in order to evade any unconstitutional eventuality,” said Shah.
He also spoke about carving out a new province in Punjab and said constitutional provisions will be followed. Commenting on the proposed sit-in of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, he said time will decide whether it was in favour of democracy or not.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2013.