ISLAMABAD: In a bid to avert the possibility of facing combined protests by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek in front of the Parliament, the federal government has turned towards the Supreme Court, hoping it will intervene and end the deepening political crisis.
A five- judge bench of the apex court is set to hear the plea of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Wednesday, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Salman Aslam Butt said in a special meeting with prime minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss the prevailing situation.
An insider told The Express Tribune that the government is interested in the idea that the court should intervene in the ongoing political crisis.
Lahore High Court Bar Association Multan bench moved a fresh petition in the apex court on Tuesday, nominating Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) as respondents.
A senior lawyer revealed that in view of his plea, the court may issue notices as early as Wednesday to both parties to redress their grievances. He added that the court may even form a special bench to hear all PTI’s reservations regarding the elections.
SCBA president Kamran Murtaza said that the top court proceeding on Wednesday will be quite. He, however, expressed apprehension that judges may not even be able to reach the SC as the protests move into the Red Zone.
Submitting reply over SCBA president’s plea, the federal government has contended that demands made by the chairmen of PTI and PAT respectively are not only unconstitutional but they are threats, with the intent to shut down of normal life in the country and functioning of the federal government in general.
The reply is submitted by Deputy Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti in the apex court on Tuesday stated that Imran Khan, who is a member of the National Assembly, made a virulent and seditious speech and declared the launching of civil disobedience movement against the federal government in express defiance of his Constitutional oath.
“This unfortunate and regrettable speech and the launching of civil disobedience movement by a political party which has been registered under the laws of Pakistan (Political Parties Ordinance Order 2002) read with the Constitution is predominantly against the integrity, sovereignty and security of Pakistan and is a clear violation of Articles 4, 5, 7 and the oath of the members of Provincial and National Assemblies as prescribed under the Third Schedule of the Constitution”
It is stated that the illegal and subversive activities of those political parties which includes strikes, processions and protests have caused uncertainty and financial loss of over Rs400 billion in the stock market.
“Public property worth millions of rupees has been destroyed by the workers of PTI and PAT, despite repeated express verbal and written assurances given by the leaders of these political parties for carrying out peaceful marches. In addition, important events and meetings planned out during the interregnum of these protest movements had to be postponed and in certain instances cancelled. Some of these events include the planned visit of Sri Lanka President scheduled for August 21, 2014 and IMF mission due for periodic review of international contractual obligations in Islamabad. Postponement of such events arc not only restricting the usual functioning of the government but also sending adverse signals viz-a-viz perceptions of international community about Pakistan."
The government says that presently, the armed forces of Pakistan are engaged in a historical operation against terrorists, Zarb-e-Azb in order to restore the writ of the Constitution and law, the actions of whom have till to date inflicted unprecedented tosses to life and property over the last 10-11 years, including among other things, loss of approximately 60,000 comprising 5,500 security personnel in addition to $104 billion in collateral damages.
The reply added that no political party or organisation can become complainant, prosecutor, judge and jury in one at the same time to paralyse the entire country, government, industry, commerce and trade in the entire state and to prevent the citizens not in sympathy with its view from exercising their fundamental rights or from performing their duties for their own benefit or for the benefit of the state or the Nation.
“The Petitioner’s apprehensions relating to violation of the fundamental rights of the people at large and the affected areas in the particular areas (by the local traders and business community) due to the Long/Azadi/Inqilab marches and dharnas having unconstitutional and illegal object, have been accentuated by the declared pronouncement by the PTI and PAT leaders about entering into the Red Zone and civil disobedience movement, thereby raising important questions of great pubic importance qua the interpretation of Constitution and the law which require a determination by the Honourable Court”, the reply added.