Uproar in Senate over CJP’s ‘incomplete parliament’ remarks

Ijaz Kakakhel

Senators belonging to various political parties voiced their objection on Friday to Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial’s remarks made a day ago highlighting that Parliament was being kept “systematically incomplete”.

The CJP had said on Thursday that the “solution of all issues of the country is only possible through the people’s decision” while hearing PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s petition against the August 2022 amendments to the National Accountability Bureau ordinance.

He had also recalled the Election Commission of Pakistan’s assurance in November 2022 that it was “ready to hold elections anytime” while asserting that the current parliament had been “systematically kept incomplete”, resulting in legislation taking place currently becoming controversial.

During the senate meeting, PML-N’s Irfan Siddiqui said the CJP had made the remarks in a case that “had no relation to elections”.

“He said the parliament was incomplete. He only called one prime minister honest, which I’m assuming was Muhammad Khan Junejo. Who gave him the privilege to call every prime minister from Liaquat Ali Khan to Imran Khan dishonest?”

He went on, “Whatever the judiciary will say, we will follow it. The judiciary has a parameter [but] it has started transgressing [into the legislative]. Our legislations are challenged.”

The PML-N senator called on the judiciary to “think while considering the laws” and to “not hit the Parliament on its back every day in this manner”.

“What if we make such remarks about the judges that there was only one honest judge? How did he say that Parliament has become controversial?”

Asserting that the CJP was “neither the people’s representative nor the Pakistan Army’s”, he asked the CJP to not “do such things that constitute an attack on Parliament’s honour”.

“This Parliament is the people’s representative; let the representative do its job. Has Parliament or the prime minister ever created an obstacle in any judicial decision?