Senior leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the major ally in Punjab, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), insisted on Friday that the party’s decision of dissolving the provincial assembly was final but added that the Lahore High Court (LHC) stopped them from dissolving the assembly till January 11.
PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Sibtain Khan, the speaker of the Punjab Assembly, and Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi of the PML-Q, said that an affidavit for not dissolving the assembly had been submitted in the LHC because of the opposition’s vote of no-confidence motion.
“The decision to dissolve the assemblies is final and Imran Khan’s decision will be fully implemented,” Elahi said after the LHC decision, that reinstated him as chief minister after the governor de-notified him in the wee hours of Friday.
“Today the court stopped a violation of the Constitution. The selected governor of the imported government tried to revive Article 58(2)b but the court prevented him from bringing down an elected government in the dark of night,” he added.
The chief minister was referring to Gen Zia’s constitutional amendment of the martial law era, which gave the president power to dismiss the government and dissolve parliament under Article 58(2)b. The article was undone through another constitutional amendment.
Elahi said that Imran’s decision for dissolving the assemblies was final. “Imran Khan’s decision will be fully implemented. The imported government wants to run away from elections but we will bring the imported government in the people’s court and the final decision will be taken by the people.”
Punjab Speaker Sabtain Khan, while speaking to the media persons after the LHC ruling, said that CM Elahi was punished for the dispute between him and the governor. An affidavit was submitted in the court because “our real target is something else,” he added.
The speaker said that the court ruling vindicated his stance for the last three days that the governor acted beyond his powers, when he ordered the chief minister on Monday to seek a vote of confidence from the assembly on Wednesday.
Speaking to the media outside the LHC, Fawad Chaudhry said that “our stand is vindicated and the court suspended the governor’s order for de-notifying the chief minister. After the court decision, Chaudhry said, “the governor is guilty of misconduct”.
“We gave an affidavit that we will not dissolve the assembly until the next hearing. But the assemblies will be dissolved anyway in a week or two. We were in favour of giving the affidavit, rather it was given on the request of the court,” he added.