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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader and former federal information minister Fawad Chaudhry has accused the Lahore High Court (LHC) judges and the chief Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) of helping the Hamza Shehbaz’s ‘illegitimate’ government to stay intact by avoiding to conduct hearings on cases challenging his election as Punjab chief minister.

Addressing a news conference alongside party’s senior members Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and Musarat Cheema at a local hotel on Sunday, the former information minister said that at present the whole nation and PTI is standing on one side while the ‘undemocratic forces’ are standing on the other side. He said the PML-N and PPP are not political parties anymore because they believe in ‘conspiracies’.

He said the way Hamza Shehbaz was elected as Punjab chief minister was ‘shameful’. “First, he (Hamza) was unconstitutionally imposed on Punjab as the chief executive, and now efforts were being made to stay him in power,” he claimed and added that five reserved seats are the legal right of PTI but they were being denied of this right by delaying hearings.

“So, it is necessary that forums of justice should stay open for all. But if doors are closed for specific persons, then the people decide their own fate,” Fawad said, adding that the masses react when they are pushed against the wall.

Hamza’s govt unconstitutional, says Fawad

He said the PTI members do not expect any good outcome of the party’s prohibited foreign funding case due to ‘biased’ role of the ECP chief, Sikandar Sultan Raja, who he claimed does not speak a word without the consent of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif.

“I want to tell the PTI supporters to be ready for the worst outcome in the foreign funding case and roll up their sleeves for thwarting nefarious designs of this illegitimate regime that wants to push PTI chairman Imran Khan against the wall,” he said.

He said the nation is currently living in a civil martial law and added that the next general elections will be conducted by an ‘independent’ ECP chief.

He said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was probing cases of alleged money laundering worth more than Rs 1200 billion when the PTI was in power. “But as the PML-N and PPP coalition government came, it clipped the watchdog’s wings through amendments and buried it under the ground,” he asserted.

“However, we challenged the amendments in the Supreme Court and now it’s up to it how would tackle the issue while ensuring rights of the citizens,” he said and pointed out that the apex court had earlier took notice of transfers and postings in high-profile cases, especially FIA prosecutors, but now hearings on the matter was awaited. He said they have high hopes from the SC that it will hear both the matters soon in the larger interest of the masses. He said the Sharifs and Zardaris ousted the democratically-elected PTI government just to save themselves from money laundering and corruption cases due to which institutions are losing their integrity.

According to Fawad, it was surprising that the federal cabinet had decided not to allot plots to superior court judges but the federal law minister opposed the decision on the pretext how he would able to face the judges in future. He said the country needs a fresh charter of democracy and they are ready for talks on the framework of next general elections.

Jamshed Iqbal Cheema also spoke on the occasion and highlighted in detail challenges to industrial and agricultural sectors after multiple fuel price hikes.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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