Political disputes must be resolved in parliament: IHC CJ

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Says go and fight ‘your political battle’ outside court; Can’t issue directives to NA Speaker

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Thursday observed that the matter pertaining to the acceptance of resignations of a few National Assembly members, belonging to the PTI, was a political dispute while observing that the “place to resolve such disputes is parliament”.

The IHC chief justice issued these remarks while hearing a petition filed by the PTI on Wednesday against National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf accepting only 11 of their resignations instead of those of all 123 party members of the lower house of parliament. PTI lawyer Senator Ali Zafar appeared in court.

In their fresh plea before the high court, the PTI members argued that after the change of their government through a “foreign conspiracy”, the leadership took a policy decision to protest against the party’s ouster from office. “To seek a fresh mandate from… people, the party decided to get all its elected members resigned bloc from the National Assembly,” the petition said. The party is of the view that the speaker was under obligation to accept the resignations of all 123 MNAs who had quit the lower house of parliament to protest the ouster of their party’s government “through a conspiracy”.

Taking up the plea for a hearing, Justice Minallah said the court could not issue directives to the NA speaker, adding that people trust their representatives and send them to parliament.

He addressed the PTI counsel, saying: “You must hold a dialogue with other political parties to resolve such disputes.” Barrister Zafar contended that the speaker did not fulfil his constitutional duty.

He told the court that 123 MNAs tendered their resignations on the condition that all lawmakers would quit the parliament en masse.

 

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