ISLAMABAD: PMLN leader Maryam Nawaz on Monday demanded the resignation of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, saying the nation was going to hold him to account.
Addressing the PDM protesters outside the Supreme Court, she said the ruling PDM did not want to stage a sit-in outside the Supreme Court as they respected the Constitution and judges.
“[The] country’s progress and destruction is linked to this building. The decisions of the judiciary are responsible for the destruction of the country,” she added.
She also clarified that her criticism was not aimed at the judges but at those elements in the apex court “facilitating” the PTI chief Imran Khan.
Addressing Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Maryam said, “Are you happy to see this sea of people or not?” Referring to the recent violent protests following Khan’s arrest, Maryam said it was the responsibility of the judiciary to hold accountable those elements spreading chaos and anarchy in the country.
The ruling party lamented that elected prime ministers were sent packing by the judiciary in the past and the supremacy of the parliament was not respected.
Besides Khan, Maryam said the chief justice was also responsible for the anarchy that has engulfed the entire country. She said at a time when the military was not ready to impose martial law and stood with democracy, judicial martial law had been imposed in the country.
In his address, Pakistan Democratic Movement President Maulana Fazlur Rehman announced the end of the sit-in, saying he believes in respecting the judiciary and continuing the struggle for the supremacy of the Constitution.
He emphasised the need for equal attention to be given to both sides if justice is to be served. He said: “Today, there is a people’s court in Islamabad, and I believe in respecting the judiciary.” He said that the crisis at hand would not have occurred if the Punjab and KP assemblies had not been dissolved. Referring to judges, he said they should come out if they want to do politics.
In response to Fazlur Rehman’s call, a significant number of workers from PDM parties, predominantly from the JUIF, gathered on Constitution Avenue on Monday. They forcefully opened security gates to enter the Red Zone and congregated in front of the Supreme Court building.
Separately, the National Assembly Monday unanimously adopted a motion seeking formation of a special committee to file a reference against the chief justice of Pakistan and other judges with the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) for their misconduct and deviating from oath.
The motion seeks constitution of the special committee under Article 209 of the Constitution on the grounds of misconduct and other facts available against any judge of the apex court.
The motion, moved by Dr. Shazia Sobia, was adopted by the House. The members included Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha, Khursheed Junejo, Shehnaz Baloch, Salahuddin and Salahuddin Ayubi.
The house passed two separate resolutions expressing unwavering support to the armed forces and security agencies while condemning acts of violence and attacks on the state buildings and installations.
The two resolutions — moved by Sabir Qaimkhani and Wajeeha Qamar — say the House condemns unequivocally the acts of vandalism and burning of infrastructure following the arrest of a nabbed accused Imran Khan.
The resolutions also voiced serious concerns and outrage over the negative impact of the violent acts on the socioeconomic development, public welfare and stability of the country.
“This House condemns unequivocally the acts of vandalism, destruction and burning of infrastructure that have taken place across the country,” the resolution said.
“This House also condemns fascism in the country including attack at the Jinnah House where the Corps Commander Lahore resides while destroying valuable belongs of Quaid-e-Azam, the GHQ, memorials of the martyrs, historic buildings, mosques and schools.”
The resolutions recognized and appreciated the vital role played by the armed forces and security agencies in upholding the sovereignty, safeguarding public order and ensuring the safety and security of the people.
The resolutions called for swift and impartial investigation into these incidents and urged the government to take severe action against the perpetrators regardless of their affiliation or political background.
The house condemned the baseless allegations being levelled by a political party against the defence institutions, stressing that such elements should be given strict punishment as per the law.
The house also expressed concerns over the recent decisions of the Supreme Court which undermined the institution’s credibility and impartiality.