ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Friday said that the people should decide the fate of politicians.

The PPP leader, however, said that the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf had themselves to blame for the ‘judicialisation’ of the political cases.

“I am of the belief that it is the people of Pakistan who should make such decisions about the fate of politicians. Unfortunately it is the PTI and the PML-N themselves who have forced the judicialisation of our politics. Nehal (Hashmi), Nawaz (Sharif) and (Jahangir) Tareen must now face the consequences of their actions,” he tweeted after the Supreme Court declared the three politicians disqualified for life to hold any public office or lead a party.

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in a unanimous decision that Nawaz Sharif and Jahangir Tareen stood disqualified for life in a follow-up to the historic disqualification judgments of the two politicians.

Last year, the Supreme Court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister and later as the ruling PML-N chief for hiding assets and alleged involvement in corruption.  PTI leader Jahangir Tareen was also disqualified under Article 62 of the constitution. In February PML-N’s Nehal Hashmi was also disqualified for five years for his anti-judiciary statements.

Commenting on the SC verdict, opposition leader in National Assembly Khurshid Shah said that everyone should accept the top court’s decision regarding disqualification of the lawmakers as it was in accordance with the constitution.

Speaking to journalists here, Shah said Nawaz Sharif had been trapped in article 62(1)(f) which he had been supporting for years. “There should be no arguments on the decision now,” he maintained.

Shah said the PPP had asked Sharif to resolve the matter in the parliament but he chose to send the matter to the court. “Why are they crying now? They should accept the decision. It was their choice,” he added.

Opposition leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman said Sharif had fallen to his beloved article of the constitution. Speaking to journalists here, she said Sharif was not ready to listen a word against the articles relating to the qualification of the lawmakers and had now become a victim of the same articles.

She said it had been the government’s habit not to take the parliament into consideration on any major issue, be it on economy or foreign policy. “It might be too late now but it would have benefited them if they took some time to understand how a democracy works,” she said.

Senator Rehman said the PPP had been urging Sharif to amend the controversial articles in the constitution, but he kept them close to his heart.

“It is unfortunate that he fell to his beloved articles. Nawaz Sharif should know that he is not the only one who has been disqualified as Jahangir Tareen too has been disqualified,” she remarked.

Senator Rehman said Nawaz Sharif always took late decisions on national issues. “Even on constitutional amendments, he speaks when the time is over,” she contended.

Separately, PPP leader Dr Nafisa Shah said that the SC judgment on Nawaz Sharif and Jahangir Tareen disqualification should be accepted.

“PPP has always stood up for parliamentary democracy, and constitutional rule. We gave Nawaz Sharif opportunity to make himself accountable before the parliament on Panama scandal. He preferred to take the matter to court. PPP also wanted to amend Articles 62 and 63 when drafting 18th amendment. The PML-N wanted to hang on to this Zia (ul Haq) vestige,” she said in a statement.

She added: “Today, both PTI and PML-N which preferred to fight their battle in the courts have been caught in their own games. Both PTI and PML-N have weakened the parliament. The courts have taken the space of the parliament because both these parties dragged the courts into political issues.”

PPP sources said that former President Asif Ali Zardari wanted his nominee as a caretaker Prime Minister in the coming weeks. “He is working on the same plan that led to the election of the Senate Chairman and the Deputy Chairman,” a close aide of the PPP co-chairman told The Nation.

Khurshid Shah has briefed Zardari on his meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over the issue. “The situation will be clear within the next few days. Zardari wants a person (as the caretaker PM) who is not hostile to the PPP,” said the close aide.

Yesterday, Awami National Party leader Malik Ijaz Khan joined the PPP. In a meeting with Zardari, he said that PPP had given an identity to the people of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by giving it a name. The provinces, he said, were also given more powers and the National Finance Commission award during the last PPP-led government.

The former president said that PPP always aimed to eliminate poverty, unemployment and ignorance. “The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have suffered the most due to extremism,” he said.

 

 

SHAFQAT ALI