Government-judiciary rift: Fireworks expected in NA session today

Opposition, treasury likely to introduce resolutions.

Qamar Zaman August 01, 2011


The government and opposition are all set to wrangle over the supremacy of state organs in the National Assembly on Monday in the backdrop of a government-judiciary rift because of non-compliance on Supreme Court orders.

The assembly session is likely to witness some fireworks as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is all set to block any move aimed at what it perceives as undermining the judiciary’s authority.

“The PML-N will give a strong message to the government and, if needed, move a resolution,” the party’s information secretary Senator Mushahidullah Khan told The Express Tribune on Sunday.

When asked to elaborate about the resolution, he said it would ask the government to avoid confrontation with the judiciary and implement the Supreme Court judgments in letter and spirit.

Khan said that judiciary was being “pushed against the wall”, which was tantamount to attacking its independence.

“The PML-N will shield the judiciary against any such onslaught,” he added.

Khan said: “We have contacted other opposition parties and asked them to perform their due role,” adding that the party leaders had even contacted some members of the treasury benches, urging them to defend the judiciary’s independence.

Nawaz Sharif, he said, would preside over a meeting of the PML-N parliamentary party to devise a strategy for the assembly debate.

Sharif would chair the parliamentary party’s meeting at the Parliament House after a break of 11 years. He had been heading PML-N’s parliamentary party meetings occasionally but those were held at the Punjab House.

On Friday, the PML-N had vowed to rally behind the judiciary and the bureaucracy if the government continued to undermine their authority. The party had also called upon civil society to prepare for a “decisive movement” to purge the country of dishonesty and greed.

The PPP, on the other hand, has decided to use its backbenchers to counter the PML-N attacks. It is learnt that they will deliver speeches to clarify the party’s standpoint on the row.

Afterwards, the prime minister will address parliament to dispel the impression that the government wanted a confrontation with national institutions, especially the judiciary.

The government is also likely to move a resolution or even introduce a legislation ostensibly for the supremacy of parliament.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2011.


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