Shehbaz accuses judiciary
of having ‘double
standards’ for different
parties, also flays PTI

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ISLAMABAD:  After the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) declared PTI-backed candidate Pervez Elahi as the new chief minister of Punjab and removed PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz from the post, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addressed a session of the National Assembly Wednesday and said that the coalition parties have mutually decided to save the state instead of political point-scoring.

Shehbaz Sharif accused the judiciary of having “double standards” with their treatment of different political parties. He said that while he respected the courts, he was also an elected representative and questioned “when the truth would be spoken, if not today.”

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“I ask that there was a time when a former chief justice took suo moto [notices] day and night … when the courts summon then I think we should go with great respect … but if you have to decide then it should be on the basis of truth and justice. It can’t happen that you treat me one way and treat someone else differently.”

“All parties in the coalition government selected me. I knew that the Prime Minister’s Office is not a bed of roses but that of thorns,” he said, adding that he had several opportunities to become the PM in the past but he chose to serve Punjab.

“I was offered to become PM by a president in 1992. Musharraf also offered me the same position. When Nawaz Sharif offered to make me the PM, I chose to serve Punjab. I rejected illegal offers in the past. I will not divulge the secrets in my heart,” he stated in his address.

Speaking about the Constitution, PM Shehbaz said that it was drafted under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s leadership and presented Pakistan as a strong and dynamic country at a global level.

He added that the Constitution will guide and strengthen Pakistan, despite the attempts of people trying to meddle with it.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses the National Assembly on Wednesday.

During the address, he also criticised the results of the 2018 General Elections and how it was the worst in the country’s history. “Those polls imposed a government through the process of rigging,” he said.

He added that the Results Transmission System (RTS) malfunctioned and counting of votes was halted by the order of the former chief justice.

PM Shehbaz also reprimanded the PTI-led government and criticised their policies of taking hefty loans in merely three-and-a-half years. He added that millions of people were left jobless and homeless during the Imran Khan-led government’s term.

During his speech at the NA, the premier also spoke about the country’s economic deterioration, challenges faced by the government in rectifying the state of the economy, and the damage caused by the recent monsoon rains across Pakistan. 

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday accused the judiciary of having “double standards” with their treatment of different political parties.

The prime minister’s criticism of the judiciary came a day after the Supreme Court struck down Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari’s ruling and removed his son and fellow PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz as the province’s chief minister.

Addressing a session of the National Assembly (NA), Shehbaz said that while he respected the courts, he was also an elected representative and questioned “when the truth would be spoken, if not today.”

“I ask that there was a time when a former chief justice took suo moto [notices] day and night … when the courts summon then I think we should go with great respect … but if you have to decide then it should be on the basis of truth and justice. It can’t happen that you treat me one way and treat someone else differently.”

He reiterated that he greatly respected the judiciary and was only talking about “double standards”, adding that it was his right to do so as an elected representative of the people.

The prime minister said that during the previous PTI government’s tenure “no one took notice” of various scandals such wheat and sugar crisis, the violation of its agreement with the International Monetary Fund as well as irregularities in the Peshawar BRT project.

“Who planned to attack this parliament in 2014, who hung dirty clothes on the building of the Supreme Court, who asked the public to set fire to electricity bills … no one took notice, everyone was quiet.”

PM Shehbaz posited the question that how long could such “double standards continue”. He noted that the apex court had deemed the actions of former NA speaker Qasim Suri in March as a violation of the Constitution.