- PML-N says SC verdict to strengthen Nawaz’s narrative
- AML chief terms bigger victory than Panama Papers’ case
- PTI urges workers to come out and celebrate
The Supreme Court’s Wednesday ruling that a person disqualified under Article 62 and 63 cannot serve as the head of a political party has drawn mixed responses from the major political parties of the country, with the ruling party vehemently defending Nawaz, while the opposition commending the court for the ‘historic’ verdict.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders said the verdict will strengthen the narrative of Nawaz Sharif and he would continue to take decisions for the party.
Following the verdict, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz tweeted: “Nawaz Sharif, you have won… higher judiciary is not issuing verdicts against you but endorsing your truthfulness and presenting evidence in favour of your stance.”
Addressing party supporters, Maryam asked, “Would the members and supporters of PML-N stop considering Nawaz Sharif their leader after the court decision?”
She further said, “PML-N supporters should not be worried because the Supreme Court verdict would elevate Nawaz Sharif and his party to new heights.”
Reacting to the verdict, State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said the party had expected a similar verdict from the apex court.
“All decisions are being announced in the defence of a “weak verdict” which disqualified Nawaz earlier as prime minister on the basis of an Iqama,” she added.
Criticising the verdict, Tallal Chaudhry said Nawaz Sharif did not depend upon party leadership. “He is a popular leader, who has massive public support with him.”
He maintained that the decision will not lead to minus-Nawaz proposition.
Tallal, however, said the parliament can make any legislation, contending that the constitution is also drafted by the parliament. “It is, however, a separate thing if a whole new system is to be brought in Pakistan,” he added.
In his response to the development, Rana Sanaullah said Nawaz Sharif is their leader and no decision could break their commitment to him. The Punjab law minister said the party will “follow the line determined by Nawaz.”
Rana Sanaullah explained that the former premier would be heading the PML-N parliamentary board and it does matter with whose signatures the tickets are issued with.
“Whoever wants to be in the party will have to accept Nawaz as the final authority,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Nawaz Sharif had stated that his family was being singled out and mistreated in the name of justice; however, they will not be deterred from accomplishing their mission even if their opponents resort to cheap tactics.
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has called for the implementation of the Supreme Court’s verdict in letter and spirit.
PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, while commenting on the verdict, said the court has given its verdict and it is the duty of everyone to abide by it, adding that the confrontation must be avoided as it will undermine democracy.
The former president also vowed that the party will continue to protect and promote democracy and constitutionalism.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari criticised Nawaz for using judicial reforms to settle personal vendettas, saying: “If Nawaz Sharif was really a democratic man and wanted to follow the path of democracy to bring judicial reforms, then he should have done that during his four years in parliament.”
The PPP leader and the leader of opposition in the National Assembly, Khursheed Shah, told reporters in Sukkur that the verdict has been given by the country’s apex court and there will be chaos in the country if the decision is not accepted.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership termed the verdict historic and said that it sets an important precedent and urged its workers to come out and celebrate the verdict.
PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry termed the verdict ‘historic’, saying: “We pay tribute to the Supreme Court.”
The PTI leader said that electing a dishonest and disqualified person as party head was a joke with the Constitution.
PTI leader Asad Umar said despite threats by the cronies of the former PML-N chief, the courts remained steadfast and disqualified Nawaz on the basis of the law.
PTI’s Shireen Mazari appreciated the apex court’s verdict, saying the judgement made by the court was the correct decision despite massive political pressure.
Another PTI leader Jehangir Tareen, who was disqualified under Article 62 (I)(f) invited party workers and supporters to come out and celebrate the ‘historic decision’ made by the Supreme Court.
Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed, one of the petitioners in the Elections Act case, said the verdict in the case is even bigger than the Panama Papers’s verdict.
“Nawaz Sharif’s politics has come to end now,” claimed the AML chief.
Rasheed said that in light of Nawaz’s disqualification as PML-N president, Lodhran’s election can be challenged and it remains to be seen “ who will be Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s replacement”.