LAHORE - Punjab Home Minister Attaullah Tarar has claimed that the success of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in election for the Punjab chief minister slot is in accordance to the law and Constitution. Addressing a press conference at Model Town here on Saturday, he said that justice should not have double standards. He said that 25 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members of the provincial assembly were de-seated on the basis of a reference, sent by the party head against them. “Where did it prove that these 25 members were directed to vote for Chaudhry Parvez Elahi,” he asked. He said that if a direction was given to these de-seated members then what about those who boycotted the election of the chief minister Punjab last time. He said that the PTI and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) members had been directed to cast their votes in favour of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi during the last election of the chief minister Punjab. Did they not violate those directions by abstaining from the CM election, he raised another question. The minister said that yesterday (Friday), the deputy speaker read out the votes tally cast during the previous election for the chief minister’s office.

 

He read out from the Assembly record that Parvez Elahi got zero votes, and at that time neither the PML-Q nor the PTI disputed that statement, as they had boycotted the elections. He said that these were some important questions and their replies should come.

Tarar said that it was a constitutional matter and its interpretation was necessary. He said that the judges, who already heard the matter, had a particular opinion in this regard. So, it was necessary that either a larger or full bench should hear the petition, he added.

The minister added that he wanted to ask a question from these political parties which had been creating a constitutional crisis in the province for the last four months: “why did they go to the court today?” He said that in Mian Nawaz Sharif’s case, it was clarified that a party head had unlimited powers. He said that such past cases and present matters of de-seating of 25 members, required that a full bench should hear the matter.

He said that Yousuf Raza Gillani contested the election for chairman Senate post, but the presiding officer rejected seven votes after giving a ruling and he had lost the election with a thin margin. Whether that case would also be heard, he asked, adding that, that matter was still pending.

The PML-N leader questioned whether there was a direction of the PML-Q parliamentary party in the CM Punjab election matter or not, adding that no press release or video was shared with the media. He said that it was a controversial matter, as a letter dated July 21, 2022 was shared on July 22. He said that a discussion should be initiated in this regard. “The party leader had the powers to make all decisions, but if four members of any party decide not to follow the directions of the party head, then what was the standing of old cases wherein it was declared that the party leader had unlimited powers.

He said that now it was a responsibility of the PTI and the PML-Q to clarify and prove when the party directions were given. He said that the PML-Q parliamentary party letter produced during the run-off elections could not be accepted. Now time has come that constitutional provisions should be interpreted and the full bench should hear it, he added.

He asked what were the powers of the party head if he could not give any directions to the party members. Whether there was any party direction in this matter or not? He said that the directions of the party head were violated in this matter, and the PML-Q 10 members should be de-seated to fulfill the constitutional requirement.

To a question, he suggested that the deputy speaker’s ruling case should be heard by the apex court full bench.