Punjab governor Cheema finally shown the door

ISLAMABAD – The federal government late Monday removed Punjab governor Omer Sarfraz Cheema from his office after weeks-long controversy.

According to a notification (a copy of which is available with the Nation) issued by the Cabinet Division , the Punjab Assembly Speaker shall perform the functions of the Punjab Governor as Acting Governor till the appointment of a new Governor in accordance with the Article 104 of the Constitution.

“Omer Sarfraz Cheema ceases to hold the office of the Governor of the Punjab with immediate effect,” says the notification.

The issue of Punjab Governor’s removal took a new turn on Monday, when President Arif Alvi rejected the summary sent by the Prime Minister to remove sitting Governor Umer Sarfraz Cheema.

The President office in a late night communique, said Dr Arif Alvi has conveyed to the Prime Minister through a letter that the Governor Punjab cannot be removed without his approval.

He also referred to clause 3 of Article 101 of the Constitution, and said, “Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President”. The president said that the incumbent governor cannot be removed as there was neither any allegation of misconduct nor conviction by any court of law or of any act committed by him contrary to the Constitution of Pakistan.

Earlier President rejected PM’s advice to remove Punjab governor

The President in his letter said that it was his duty as Head of the State to represent the unity of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in terms of Article 41 of the Constitution. Highlighting the constitutional role of the Governor of Punjab, the President said that the Governor had also sent a report earlier regarding the unfortunate happenings in the Punjab Assembly, questions regarding the validity of the resignation of Chief Minister Punjab, Sardar Usman Ahmed Khan Buzdar, and shifting of loyalties by parliamentarians.

Rejecting the advice of the Prime Minister, the President stated that he was convinced that the removal of the Governor would be unfair and against the norms of justice. The President emphasised that it was essential that the incumbent Governor should continue to stay to encourage and promote a healthy and clean democratic system where members are not coerced or bought to bring about an ‘illegitimate change’ and Article 63A of the Constitution specifically discourages such activities.

The President further highlighted that he was committed to stand by the provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan in these difficult times and strongly rejected the advice of the Prime Minister to remove the Governor Punjab.

 

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