LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) adjourned the hearing of further arguments regarding a petition challenging the construction of a Benazir Bhutto monument in Rawalpindi or elsewhere from public funds.
The petitioner advocate Syed Feroz Shah Gillani said that Benazir Bhutto could not be declared a national hero as she was involved in several cases of corruption and had been an absconder in many cases. He said that the Pakistan peoples party (PPP) should not be allowed to construct monuments for its leader with money taken from the public exchequer.
Representing the federal government, deputy attorney general Naveed Inayat Malik was irked by the petitioner’s arguments and demanded that Gillani take back his remarks regarding Benazir Bhutto.
At this, justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry remarked, “The court is not the proper forum to hold debate regarding the stature of any political leader. That should be debated in the parliament”. Chaudhry also said that since the PPP was a major political party it could spend its own money on the construction of such monuments.
The judge adjourned further hearing of the petition till May 6, 2010. In his petition, Gillani also requested that the court remove the names of politicians including Ms Bhutto from national buildings such as the Islamabad international airport, hospitals, government and semi-government departments and institutions.
He said that Benazir Bhutto was never recognised as an undisputed leader of the country nor attained the status of a national hero. Gillani said that Benazir never followed ethical and democratic principles as she had admitted in her book ‘Reconciliation’ that she struck a deal with former dictator Pervez Musharraf.
He said that both her governments were dismissed on charges of gross corruption and incompetency. “Such a leader can not be regarded as a national hero,” he said.