Top court’s opinion on Presidential reference today

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad

The Supreme Court (SC) will today announce its opinion on the presidential reference seeking its views about holding the upcoming Senate elections through the open ballot.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court — headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi — will announce its reserved opinion in an open court.

The court the other day had reserved its opinion after all the counsels had concluded their arguments and after rebuttal of Attorney General Khalid Javed.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed had observed that the court will give its opinion by interpreting the provisions of the Constitution. We have nothing to do with politics but are going to interpret the constitution,” the CJP had remarked.

According to the Supplementary Cause List, issued by the Supreme Court on Saturday, the five-member larger bench will announce its reserved opinion at 9am in the Courtroom No 1.

Meanwhile, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on Saturday decided to cast its lot with the opposition in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) tried to woo the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) in Sindh.

Saturday witnessed several breakthrough in political contacts, days after the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) leadership used its political influence in Punjab that paved the way for all the senators from the province returning unopposed.

The political acumen of the Chaudhrys of Gajrat was mentioned with praises during the meeting between a Pakistan Peoples Party delegation and the MQM-P – and ally of the Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf (PTI) at the centre – in Karachi.

In the meeting at the MQM-P’s headquarters, the PPP offered the MQM-P two Senate seats from Sindh and in return it sought votes for Yusuf Raza Gilani, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate from Islamabad.

However, a major political breakthrough was achieved in Peshawar, where the provincial leaders of the PDM parties plus the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) huddled together. They agreed to join ranks and decided to field five joint opposition candidates.

As per the agreement, the PML-Nawaz’ Abbas Afridi, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Maulana Ataur Rehman and the Awami National Party’s (ANP) Haji Hidayatullah Khan will stand for the general seats in the March 3 election.

The PPP has been given a technocrat seat, for which Farhatullah Babar will be the joint opposition candidate, while Inayat Begum of the JI will be candidate for women’s seats, according to the announcement after the meeting.
Under the agreement, all additional candidates of the opposition parties would retire from the contest on March 3.

The opposition parties also decided to contact three independents, Ehtesham Javed Akbar, Faisal Zaman and Mir Kalam Wazir.

The PPP received another boost in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as Senator Shamim Afridi and provincial assembly member Amjad Afridi announced their joining of the PPP during a rally addressed by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on Saturday.