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Shah Mahmood Qureshi censures PDM’s ‘decision to attack’ Constitution

ISLAMABAD, APR 2: After the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) expressed its distrust in the Supreme Court’s three-judge bench hearing the elections delay case, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi censured political parties in the ruling government for their “decision to attack” the Constitution.

Qureshi’s criticism was largely aimed at the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), both of which are part of the ruling administration in Islamabad.

A day earlier, Maulana Fazlur Rehman — president of PDM, a ruling alliance of 13 political parties — said that the bloc has no confidence in the bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, which is hearing the ongoing case regarding postponement of polls in Punjab.

Qureshi, meanwhile, fired a broadside at the PML-N stating that the party has decided to pressurise the country’s top court. Also censuring his former political party PPP, the PTI leader said that the party was proud of two things — Constitution and nuclear assets; however, it has maintained silence over both the matters recently.

That is the difference between Bhutto and Zardari, the politician added.

“[Zulfiqar Ali] Bhutto’s grandson has decided to attack the Constitution. The Constitution created by Bhutto has been destroyed by the Zardaris,” the PTI leader said.

He said that the ruling coalition’s notification issued yesterday stated that no talks will be made with PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

“On one hand they call us to the assemblies to play our role, while on the other assembly’s speaker is being an obstacle in our way,” he added.

Moving on to the Supreme Court hearing, Qureshi said that a major development will take place on Monday as the three-member bench headed by the chief justice of Pakistan is supposed to form its opinion on PTI’s petition regarding the delay in elections.

He said that everyone agrees that the SC has the authority to interpret the Constitution. He expressed hope that a good decision will be made and PTI members will play their role in the assemblies.

This is a test for political parties, he added.

He said that the Constitution is clear about conducting elections in 90 days.

Three judges being pressurised
Qureshi said the decision to file a reference against three SC judges was a signal to pressurise them. It seems like the decision to file the reference has been made, he added.

“PPP is striking the Constitution today it was once proud of,” he said.

He said that every tactic is being used to to delay the elections.

“They [rulling alliance] want such an Opposition that speaks the government’s language.

Qureshi further stated that the legislation is the job of elected representatives but it needs to be seen whether the legislation regarding the chef justice’s suo motu powers can be done without a constitutional amendment.

The PTI leader shared that President Arif Alvi had started consultation with the constitutional experts as the party thinks that the matter cannot be resolved without constitutional amendment.

“There couldn’t be an autonomous democracy without free judiciary,” he said.

He called out all the political parties supporting the Constitution to be on the same side.

“Imran Khan has decided to stand by the Constitution,” he added.

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