- Says he would put the Punjab CM in jail if the army gave him soldiers and one 'subedar'
Governor Punjab Omar Sarfraz Cheema stated on Thursday that he would arrest Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Hamza Shehbaz if the army provided him with “one subedar and four soldiers”.
“If Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa can provide me just one subedar and four soldiers, I will arrest this unconstitutional, illegal and fake chief minister and send him to jail,” he said in a series of tweets.
The governor has been speaking up against Hamza's election as CM since it took place last month, deeming it unconstitutional. He refused to administer the oath to him despite orders from the Lahore High Court (LHC), leading to delays in Hamza officially taking up the role.
Hamza was eventually sworn in as 21st Chief Minister of Punjab last week amid stringent security measures adopted by law-enforcing agencies by Speaker of National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
Now Cheema has tweeted that Punjab had become a victim of a constitutional and legal crisis and the province had been taken hostage through misuse of authority. He added that the silence of major political parties on the issue was extremely worrying.
"If Hamza as Chief Minister is acceptable for everyone, then the rest of the provinces should worry," he said. “If this rule prevails, then Awab Alvi [son of President Arif Alvi] will be the next chief minister of Sindh,” he said.
Cheema was of the view that if those who violated the constitution and law were protected, then anyone would be able to occupy any constitutional position on the basis of abuse of power, fake notifications and unconstitutional court decisions.
Earlier, during the administration of oath of Hamza as CM Punjab, Cheema had urged the chief justice to take notice of the “ghunda gardi” at the Governor House.
He also said the “drama of a fake chief minister’s oath” was being performed in an “unconstitutional” manner.
“As the governor, I am not allowing the notification for the appointment of any unconstitutional and fake chief minister. The way they forcibly and deceitfully put up a drama of the oath-taking, they have now attempted to prepare a fake notification for it,” said Cheema in a tweet.
Last week, Hamza had approached the LHC for a third time over a delay in him being sworn in as the chief minister of Punjab.
In his petition, Hamza stated that the LHC's earlier order asking Punjab Governor Omer Sarfaraz Cheema to administer the oath to him or appoint someone else to do so was being violated.
“The Punjab governor has once again refused to respect the ruling of the Lahore High Court,” Hamza cited in the petition, which highlighted the federal and Punjab governments. He also urged the court to appoint an official to administer the oath.