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LAHORE: Despite making necessary arrangements here at the Governor’s House, the oath-taking ceremony of Hamza Shahbaz Chief Minister-elect once again put off on Saturday due to issuance of necessary orders from presidency with regard to nomination of a representative to administer the oath.

Earlier, on April 17, Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema had postponed the oath-taking ceremony as he ruled Hamza elections controversial due to the ruckus that took place in the Punjab assembly.

On Saturday, arrangements were made for oath taking ceremony and media reports circulated that Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani will administer the oath to Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz. The oath taking was earlier scheduled for 4pm but afterward no confirmation was received from any quarter till the filing of this report.

As per reports, after receiving the LHC order, the presidency had sought advice from the PM Office and the Prime Minister in consultation with cabinet members suggested appointing Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani as a representative to administer the oath to Hamza Shehbaz. The PML-N leader Attaullah Tarar confirmed this to media, however, deplored flouting of Constitution and orders of the LHC by the President.

It may be noted that on Friday, LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti had directed President Arif Alvi to nominate a representative to administer the oath to Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shahbaz. The LHC CJ had observed that the governor cannot refuse to administer oath and issued directives to the court office to inform the President.

In another development, Advocate General Punjab Ahmad Awais has been barred from performing his duties. According to a letter issued by Law and Parliamentary Affairs Department, it is duty of Advocate General of Punjab to give advice to the provincial government upon legal matters; however, there is no government in the province after the resignation of Usman Buzdar as the Chief Minister. The letter added that AGP is requested to abstain from appearing for/on behalf of the provincial government in writ petition having no administrative issues relating to the provincial government.

The PML-N leaders Sardar Owais Khan Leghari, Malik Ahmed Khan and Attaullah Tarar and Rana Mashood Khan expressed serious concern over non implementation of orders of the Lahore High Court and violation of Constitution by not taking oath of the CM-elect. They announced to move a contempt petition in the LHC for not following directions of the honourable court.

Attaullah Tarar said Punjab is the biggest province but running without Chief Minister and Cabinet for the last 22 days. He said the honourable Chief Justice LHC had directed that the oath taking ceremony of the CM-elect could not be delayed but it was being delayed. He stated that the orders of the LHC were received to presidency but despite letter from PM office matter is under consideration in presidency.

Malik Ahmed Khan said that President is bound to act as per Constitution. He expressed concern over such state of affairs.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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