The government seems to be adopting a ‘good cop-bad cop’ strategy as far as its tensions with the judiciary are concerned.
Contrary to a strongly worded statement recently issued by the Presidency after the apex court scrapped a contempt of court law which would have shielded senior government officials from contempt proceedings, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf maintained a conciliatory tone on Monday.
Speaking during an informal interaction with the media after hosting an Iftar dinner at the PM House, the premier remained focused on matters pertaining to the upcoming elections – and refused to be drawn into a discussion on what he expected would happen on August 8 (tomorrow), when he is to respond to the Supreme Court’s orders about writing a letter to Swiss authorities.
Instead, Prime Minister Ashraf delivered a lecture on peaceful coexistence among state institutions and said that all institutions, including the executive and judiciary, should work for the country.
Maintaining a carefully diplomatic stance, the premier remarked, “It is the right of people to elect their government. They have the right to have a government of their choice,” when asked about the possible outcome of a judiciary-executive tussle that has already cost one Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) prime minister his job.
Without giving any hint as to when elections would actually be scheduled for, Premier Ashraf said free and fair elections are the only way forward for the country, only insisting that the polls would be held soon.
“We have no other option but to hold free and fair elections,” he said in a speech before his interaction with the media.
Ashraf noted that holding free and fair elections would strengthen parliament and hoped that the present government would achieve this target as it had done ‘other milestones in the past’.
He added that the present government was ‘least bothered’ with whoever was elected in the next elections, saying that this was the only way to strengthen parliament as an institution.
The prime minister wasn’t all reconciliation, however. Premier Ashraf tactfully said that since the independent media and judiciary both enjoy powers, parliament should also be a powerful institution – apparently hinting that the tensions had not been swept under the rug as far as he was concerned.
He further said that the appointment of a chief election commissioner (CEC) was testament to the fact that the government was heading in the right direction, as it sent ‘a positive message’. An independent CEC as well as a vibrant media and awareness in the people, he assured, also meant that rigging in the polls could be ruled out.
Referring to the media, the prime minister welcomed criticism, saying it was the right of the media – but added a caveat, saying that while the media may well point out the weaknesses of the government, it should not distort facts through sensationalism.
The prime minister also appealed to the media to ‘keep alive a ray of hope’, saying hopelessness destroyed society.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2012.
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There has been much flurry and fury over the issue of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which absolved the political leadership of all old cases against them, mostly instituted by political rivals during the 1990s. The other one, however, which envisaged that no cases would be registered or pursued against Musharraf, remained a tightlipped secret. In the dust raised around the NRO, it was conveniently overlooked that there was yet another NRO, under which the judiciary had absolved itself of any wrongdoing of abrogating the constitution and validating Musharraf’s martial law. The logical thing would have been that while repealing the NRO was meant for politicians, an impartial judiciary should have reviewed the other two as well.
All that the current govt wants to do is to be left alone and continue looting for another 8 months. They know very well that without bogus votes, there is no chance the Pakistani awaam will ever elect them again in the next 2,3 decades. No sane person (who doesnt have a heavy duty generator) will forget the 5 years of sleep-less loadshedding day and nights.
Go away PPP.
[email protected]@@ ,but your action shows as if you are afraid of these PCO judges .
He himself is involved in plundering money from rental power plants and advising the institutes to work together.Shame for you, supreme court is after decoits to recover money and panalise them. one peer makhdoom amin retuned back four hundered millions pak rupees and he does not know who deposited this amount in his wife account what a rediculous answer. Supreme court zindz bad
we salute Raja Ashraf , a great orator and organiser ,His eloquent speech is a fitting answer to his critics who are mainly supporters of failed and failing politicians and discredited establish ishment
All possible measures/steps are being taken by the PPP's loyal workers including PM to secure Zardari and the nation's burning and core issues/problems/difficulties especially electricity load-shedding are being badly ignored and just the inveterate liars' attitude is being shown before the nation to resolve the problems and difficulties and their main focus has been to secure only and only Zardari from any prosecutions regarding corruption,money laundering cases and Swiss banks' accounts.........
Flouting the law has nothing to do with the supremacy of the parliament, Mr. PM.
"It is people's right to elect their Government". Yes, and then it is upto the Government to introduce schemes such as rental power to mount up their personal wealth.
@neltajojan Are you jealous of PTI popularity ??
PPP is gone case
Let PPP complete their term, we have tolerated this DEMOCRATIC GOVT for 4.5 years, please tolerate them 6 months more and then please please use ur BRAINS to elect sensible people. They guys have looted alot and their generations will sit and eat..
Oh Raja Jee! Announce the election dates and get aside man! These PCO Judges led by Uncle Tom will not spare anyone who poses a threat to their party-ML-N!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For 15 years of PTI's existence, people of Pakistan have chosen to 'dodge' it rather than any other political party :)
Perhaps the Chief Justice should learn a thing or two from the Prime Minister and start acting with some dignity that is more becoming of his post.
@PTI Mardan: Dont not expect things to get better with a PTI government.