ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) requested the Supreme Court of Pakistan to stay away from the present standoff, terming it a purely political issue.
Barrister Ali Zafar, representing the PAT, argued that the apex court should not get involved in the political issue as there would be allegations and counter-allegations. He, however, undertook that no step beyond the Constitution would be taken by the party, adding the dispute before the court is of fundamental rights, so it should determine its scope.
A four-member bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, hearing 11 identical petitions, issued notices to parliamentary political parties regarding the political deadlock.
Pakistan People’s Party and other parties in the Parliament that intended to become parties in the case by filing separate petitions changed the plan after receiving notices in the Shafqat Ali Bhatti petition as well.
Bhatti has made 17 parties, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Awami Tehreek, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan People’s Party, Jamaat-e-Islami, PML-F, PML-Zia, PML-Q, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-S, Awami National Party (ANP), Balochistan National Party (BNP), National Party, Awami Muslim League, All Pakistan Muslim League, Awami Watan Party (Sherpao) and Pukhtunkhwa Mili Awami Party, respondents in his petition. He prayed to the court to resolve the issue by calling all the political parties for amicable settlement of the crisis.
During the proceedings, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked that all the MNAs, including those of PTI, the prime minister and the judges of the apex court had taken oath under the Constitution. However, PAT Chairman Tahirul Qadri took oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth of Britain.
Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, without taking name of the PAT leader, said there was contradiction between the words and deeds of a few people protesting in the red zone. He asked Ali Zafar whether any Pakistani could think of capturing PTV and congratulating his workers for entering the Parliament, Civil Secretariat and Prime Minister House. “We are trying to show restraint in the present crisis,” he said.
Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk clarified that only once in his whole life he met with Imran Khan at Election Commission of Pakistan when he was acting as chief election commissioner. He said the meeting was held in the presence of Hamid Khan and counsels for other political parties. “At that meeting we discussed introduction of bio-metric system in the elections.”
Justice Jawwad said no single judge could make a decision as other judges are also part of the bench. Hamid Khan told the court that Imran Khan had also said he had never met Justice Nasirul Mulk.
Justice Jamali expressed concern over vilification campaign launched against the apex court judges. He said if the institutions were criticised in such a manner, its result would be horrible. Justice Saqib said yesterday (Monday) a private TV channel uttered nasty words against the judges, which was not right. The CJP said they would also take up this matter, later.
Earlier, Hamid Khan, appearing on behalf of PTI, said he had requested the court to take up suo motu notice of the current situation as a law officer of this court and a citizen of Pakistan and not on the instructions of Imran Khan. He said his stance was that the issue could be resolved in a better way if the court took suo motu notice as its scope was wider.
The court, after hearing all the parties, issued notices to parliamentary parties and adjourned the case till Wednesday (today).