LAHORE: Punjab chief minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz on Monday again approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) seeking execution of the court’s order regarding his oath-taking issue.
He also requested the court that the Senate chairman be directed to administer the oath to wrap up the constitutional crises in the province.
“When the holders of public and constitutional offices have rendered themselves unable to perform their constitutional duties, despite orders passed by LHC, the respondent chairman senate be directed to administer oath” stated the petition by Hamza’s counsel.
He contended to the court that previously, the Punjab government was not rendering its constitutional obligation to administer the oath to the newly elected chief minister, but now the president of Pakistan also seems reluctant to comply with the court’s order.
It is pertinent to mention that a reminder of the advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was again sent to President Arif Alvi on April 24 seeking compliance with the court’s orders but to no avail.
Hamza further contended that the Punjab governor and the president, despite clear orders of the court, had opted to follow the party line at the cost of abeyance of the constitutional command and provisions by unconstitutional means.
“The president of Pakistan, on the one hand, failed to appreciate that he has to rise above the party lines for discharging his constitutional role in an impartial manner as President of the Federation, and on the other hand, the President has also flagrantly flouted and disregarded the order passed by the LHC.”
“All this is being done by exposing the masses of this province to the rigours of the absence of a functional government, leading to further economic and political turmoil. The offices of the governor and president are symbols of federation and unity. The very essence of the office is to protect the Constitution, which in essence has been defeated in an unprecedented manner.”
It is worth mentioning that Hamza had approached the LHC against the delay in holding a contest on the chief minister’s slot.
The court then ordered the then acting speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari to hold the election on April 16. After Hamza was elected CM Punjab, the provincial governor delayed administering him the oath.
He again approached the court to pass directions to the concerned quarters to administer the oath. As the LHC’s Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti observed that the governor was not fulfilling his constitutional obligation, he had directed President Alvi to nominate any person to administer the oath to the PML-N leader.