Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa on Saturday said the government will request the court on August 27 to postpone the case against the prime minister till the end of the tenure of President Asif Ali Zardari.
The government’s plea will be based on Article 248 of the Constitution, Khosa said, while talking to journalists at an Iftar dinner reception held at Governor House.
Khosa said that Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf will not be present in the court, but the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Irfan Qadir will submit the reply on his behalf.
He said the AGP, citing Article 248, would request the court to postpone the hearing till the end of President Zardari’s tenure.
When the tenure ends, the issue of writing the letter to Swiss authorities will be self-executed, he said.
He said that former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani did not take the same approach when he was summoned by the court; rather, he emphasised on the fact that he did not commit any contempt of court.
When the court asked Gilani to address the issue of Article 248, Gilani categorically replied that he wanted to focus on his contempt issue and his lawyer, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, was busy arguing that Gilani did not commit any contempt of court.
“I hope Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who is heading the Supreme Court bench hearing the NRO implementation case, after getting this positive plea from the government will accommodate PM Ashraf,” he said.
Asked to define the term ‘accommodate,’ Khosa said: “SC may postpone the hearing of the case for an indefinite time period.”
If the court does not accept the plea, Khosa said a new prime minister will be elected by parliament.
Khosa also said Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry should stop addressing gatherings and conferences where he issues ‘fatwas’ against parliament and the incumbent PPP-led coalition government.
The chief justice’s recent statement that government has failed to address the people’s issues and the nation is disappointed from the current regime is very pessimistic, he said.
Such statements from an eminent personality spread unrest and uncertainty in the country, Khosa added.
The state and parliament are interlinked and are supreme, while institutions like the judiciary are derived from parliament, he said.
He said the chief justice’s theory, that parliament is not supreme, disgraces the nation.
The chief justice should perform his role in strengthening the state, not destabilising institutions, Khosa added.
The governor also disclosed that negations were underway with opposition Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz’s disgruntled leader Senator Zulifqar Khan Khosa, and he is quite likely to join the PPP.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and PML-N chief Nawaz do not have the moral courage to apologise to Khosa over their attitude; so Khosa, along with his three sons, may join the PPP, the governor added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.