ISLAMABAD - Expressing their resolve not to let anyone fringe upon the powers of the Parliament to legislate, the PPP and its allies came out loud and clear that they would not let the position of Parliament undermined or compromised come what may.
The meeting was attended among others by Senator Shujaat Hussain, Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Dr Farooq Sattar, Senator Babar Khan Ghauri, Senator Abbas Khan Afridi, Munir Khan Orakzai and Hameedullah Jan Afridi. Federal minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Presidential Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar were also present during the meeting.
Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting said neither of the coalition partners was in support of confrontation with the superior judiciary and suggested the government to come up with some middle course, mutually acceptable to all the stakeholders.
The spokesperson said current situation was also discussed in the meeting, which expressed its resolve that the right of the Parliament to legislate would be upheld and the right not allowed to be compromised, no matter what the odds and the cost were to be faced. “The power to legislate under the Constitution belongs to elected representatives alone, the meeting reiterated unequivocally.”
In the context of the present situation, the spokesperson said the meeting was of the view that there was even greater need to remain united and firm. It resolved to remain united and firm and face the emerging challenges with unity, force and conviction.
Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting, which remained in session well over three hours, informed The Nation that it was unanimous decision of the coalition partners that the government must file review petition in the contempt of court case and it would be filed before the August 8, next date of hearing in the NRO implementation case.
Sources further said the option of bringing a new contempt of court law through Presidential Ordinance also came under discussion, but majority of the members opposed the move, especially PML-Q President Shujaat Hussain opposed it, as according to him it would further fuel the tension between the government and superior judiciary.
However, the option of bringing the Supreme Court judgment in contempt of court law case, in both the houses of the Parliament for debate, is still open and it was neither rejected nor given affirmative nod during the meeting.
Sources in the ruling PPP made it loud and clear that government would not write to Swiss authorities for reopening of the cases against President Zardari. However, the government would likely take shelter behind Article 248 and seek Presidential immunity in the case in coming days.
According to their legal wizards in this case, they would be able to buy some more time to take the things to their logical conclusions as per their plan.
Meanwhile briefing about the meeting, Farhatullah Babar said the prime minister gave a detailed overview to the meeting on the current power situation in the country. The PM said the energy situation was steadily improving and expressed the hope that the crises will soon be overcome.
The spokesperson said the president directed that the cabinet decision about ‘zero’ duty on the import of Solar panels should be implemented without delay so as to encourage the growth of solar power and reduce pressure on power sector. The president also advised that the small dams being built in various parts of the country should be completed on priority basis. In this connection, the progress of work on Munda Dam in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was also discussed and the President advised that difficulties in the way of its implementation should be overcome on an urgent basis, the spokesperson informed.
The meeting was also briefed by Qamar Zaman Kaira, who had been specially sent to Muzaffargarh to report on the damaged power pylons. Kaira informed the meeting that the damaged high voltage power pylons had been restored and the power that was disrupted has been restored to the national grid.
The meeting also decided that special measures be taken to address the issues of traders and businessmen in Karachi and curb the menace of extortions with an iron hand regardless of the political affiliations of those involved in it.
Earlier before the meeting, the prime minister had a one-on-one meeting with the president, wherein the PPP’s strategy to tackle the NRO case came under discussion.