ISLAMABAD - Almost all political parties inside and outside the Parliament, including the PPP’s coalition partners, hailed the Supreme Court verdict regarding the dismissal of Yousuf Raza Gilani as Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Welcoming the apex court’s decision, they viewed that Gilani was convicted on contempt charges on 26 April and, therefore, he (Gilani) should have stepped down at that moment.
The decision has swiftly pushed the political forces to evolve a new strategy, as the detailed decisions of some of the parties would come after reviewing the situation in totality.
The largest opposition party, PML-N, proposed fresh polls in the country to avoid further chaos-like situation in the country, as the PPP-led government had failed miserably to deliver.
“Fresh elections are the only solution to control the disturbing situation in the country,” said PML-N Spokesman Mushahidullah Khan while talking to TheNation, He added that the PPP should have accepted the April 26 verdict without any argument as Gilani had no escape, but they opted to bear insult and also stigmatise the democratic setup.
The PML-N had time and again suggested removing the convicted premier but the ruling party had not paid attention to it.
Mushahidullah further raised questions about the legitimacy of decisions taken by the incumbent government after April 26, including the federal budget. “Both the visit of Gilani to UK as PM and passage of federal budget are debatable matters after the Supreme Court’s short order”
To a question, he said the PPP had not gone for an appeal, as they were well-aware of the final decision.
Commenting on the decision, PTI Chairman Imran Khan welcomed the move and said it was a historical verdict as it had demarcated the limits of judicial and parliamentary authorities.
He further said Speaker Fehmida Mirza had no authority to question the earlier verdict issued by the seven-member bench , as her role was limited to send the matter to the Election Commission. After conviction in any case, he said, the membership of a lawmaker would also end automatically.
The MQM, an important coalition partner of PPP, viewed that it would support the next contender for the prime minister’s slot nominated by the PPP. “We respect the court decision and it should be implemented without indulging into confrontation,” said MQM senior leader Waseem Akhtar.
Senior leader of another ally ANP, Haji Adeel, termed the verdict an unpopular one. “The PPP has accepted this decision,” he said, adding that the nation might not face confusion if the verdict had been announced earlier. To a question about the appeal, he said the PPP had to face same fate, even if it had opted to file an appeal.
PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said they welcome the decision of the apex court and believed in rule of law. He said his party would come up with a detailed response after reviewing the situation, adding that a party meeting was convened today (Wednesday) to review the latest developments.
Similarly, the religio-political parties viewed that the apex court’s verdict should been accepted on April 26.
Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary-General Liaqat Baloch proposed fresh elections in the country as the 2008 mandate had completely failed to deliver.
The PPP had attempted to get the support of National Assembly and the speaker’s office, as Gilani had to step down on April 26. “Gilani had been technically disqualified on April 26 when he was convicted in the contempt case,” he said, adding that the ruling party was responsible for the disturbing political situation in the country. He further said the court verdict should be implemented in letter and spirit.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazalur Rahman stressed that there should not be any setback to the democratic setup after the new episode. The court decision should have been accepted earlier as Gilani should have stepped down to avoid the current situation.
JUP chief Maulana Abu Alkhair Zubair termed the verdict as welcoming. “This decision should be implemented without indulging into confrontation,” he added.