Pakistan: Where are NSC meeting’s minutes? Chief Justice asks Babar Awan

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJ) Umar Ata Bandial

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJ) Umar Ata Bandial on Wednesday asked the lawyer for the PTI government, Babar Awan, about the minutes for the recent meeting of the National Security Committee which had discussed a letter purportedly showing evidence of a foreign conspiracy to oust the PTI-led government.

The CJP made the inquiry during as a five-member bench, comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, took up a suo motu case on the events of April 3 when National Assembly (NA) Deputy Speaker Qasim Shah Suri dismissed the no-confidence motion against the prime minister and President Dr Alvi dissolved the NA on the premier’s advice.

Taking the rostrum during today’s hearing, PTI’s counsel Babar Awan pointed out how the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) and Jamaat-i-Islam (JI) were not respondents in the case.

“Balochistan Awami Party and Rah-i-Haq are also members of Parliament but haven’t been made respondents,” he said.

“The court was informed that the deputy speaker’s ruling is malicious and unconstitutional,” he said, but also questioned whether what occurred at Sindh House and Lahore’s Avari Hotel could be ignored, referring to the stay of party dissidents there amidst allegations of horse-trading. “No one said a word about Article 63-A.”

Awan said that the opposition was claiming to “save parliamentary democracy” while PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif had demanded the formation of a judicial commission to probe the matter.

He claimed that the opposition wanted the court to issue a short order in its favour immediately, adding that they wanted to set aside the mention of the National Security Committee in the deputy speaker’s ruling.

At one point, the CJP asked whether the speaker had the power to issue a ruling by deviating from the order of the day. He also questioned whether it was possible to set aside a constitutional process.

“Can the speaker keep constitutional requirements aside,” Justice Bandial inquired, adding that the court would not take rumours and allegations into account. He also told Awan to refrain from giving long-winded speeches, directing him to inform the court about the basis on which the speaker gave the ruling.

Read further in Dawn

Categories: The Muslim Times

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