While opposition party lawmakers celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office, ruling party members expressed disappointment but also said Sharif’s days are not over.
Reacting to the verdict, Maryam Nawaz said on Twitter: “Another elected Prime Minister sent home, but only to see him return with greater force & support & soonest Insha’Allah. Stay strong PMLN.”
She added: “Today will pave the way for Nawaz Sharif’s resounding victory in 2018. He will be unstoppable. Insha’Allah. Rok sakte ho to rok lo!“
Tweeting pictures of party leaders at the PM house Maryam said: “Real men laugh when taking up the gauntlet :)”
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah while talking to DawnNews said: “This is a difficult time for the PML-N.” “But the power to make party decisions will remain with Nawaz Sharif.”
State Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb at a press conference after the verdict said, “Nawaz does not need a chair, he is a reality. That day is not far, when he will be chosen for the fourth time”
Aurangzeb added: “Some decisions happen in court, others in peoples courts. We may have lost one decision… which I am not surprised about but am saddened.”
“PML-N is Pakistan’s biggest political party. It has the higest number of political workers. And history is a witness that whenever Nawaz Sharif was removed unjustly, the people of Pakistan brought him back to parliament with a greater majority.”
She also said that the party will announce its plan after looking at the decision in detail.
Senior lawyer Asma Jehangir said the court’s decision should be accepted but that there is room for criticism.
“After his decision, a lot of cracks have emerged which will keep the judiciary on its feet for a very long time,” Jehangir said to Geo News.
“I think that Zia ul Haq and Iftikhar Chaudhry have returned. It will become difficult for others and the court…The parliament will think that the apex court has always decided against us and 184(3) powers have reached a point where anyone can be disqualified, the parliament will look to amend it.”
She added: “This is a unique decision. It has had a unique procedure. In courts it happens that there is a set pattern but the way this case has happened is not normal.”
While reacting on the court’s order, the PML-N spokesperson said that the party will utilise all legal and constitutional means to contest the verdict.
The spokesperson further complained that the “requirements for a fair and just trail were badly violated”.
The court has set such precedents which don’t find any similar standing throughout the course of country’s history, the PML-N statement added.
PML-N leaders said on Friday that they believe there are a number of flaws in the SC’s Panamagate verdict.
“Never has such a JIT been made. We only accepted it so that no one says we ran away from accountability,” Barrister Zafarullah said while addressing a press conference at Punjab House.
He added: “For the first time in human history, a sitting judge will supervise the [consequent] investigation: this itself is a violation of the concept of separation of powers.”
Speaking to the media, Zahid Hamid said: “The most serious part of the SC’s court order is based on a certificate produced that says that the PM is the chairman of a company and his salary is 10,000 dirhams.”
“It is on record that the prime minister said that I did not draw receivables from Capital FZE,” Hamid said while discussing the reason for which Nawaz Sharif was sent packing: ie, not declaring these receivables in his 2013 election nomination papers.
“He was quoted in the SC’s verdict saying that the salary was a receivable to his name, but the next part of PM’s statement is not added to the verdict where it is explained that in January 2013, when Respondent #8 [Hassan Nawaz] said that he wanted to wind this company up, Nawaz Sharif informed him that he did not have any intention of drawing the salary allocated to him,” he added.
Discussing the matter further, Saad Rafique talked briefly about the PML-N’s strategy, saying: “We have accepted the SC’s order, but we are not giving this fight up. We will make sure that the law is amended to also bring members of the judiciary and the military under its net and then every one is held accountable and tried for not being sadiq and ameen.”
Talking about the party’s reservations about how the investigation will be carried forward, Ahsan Iqbal said, “The concept of division of power allows for independent trial, but if an SC judge supervises the National Accountability Bureau’s investigation, how will the SC be able to entertain an appeal on its order?