Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Farrukh Habib has said that political rival PML-N had lost the political battle and was left with no option to save its Punjab government led by Hamza Shehbaz.
“Nobody is ready to defend the illegal and unconstitutional ruling of the deputy speaker,” he said while speaking to the media outside the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry on Saturday.
The PTI leader was referring to apex court short order issued earlier in the day, wherein the top court suspended the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker’s ruling and restrained Hamza to exercise absolute powers and serve only as a “trustee” chief minister until the hearing resumed in Islamabad on Monday.
The ruling came a day after PML-N won a dramatic victory against the PTI that few had predicted in the Punjab chief minister’s election, retaining the throne of Punjab after surviving its closest brush with loss in the country’s political heartland.
Warmed in the nick of time by a letter from PML-Q head Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain — instructing his MPAs to vote for PML-N’s candidate — Hamza Shehbaz was declared a victor after Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari ruled that PML-Q members’ votes were not counted in light of party head’s letter.
According to Mazari, Hamza received 179 votes whereas Elahi garnered 176 votes, but only after 10 votes of Elahi’s own party were not counted, which turned the tables in Hamza’s favour.
Farrukh, in his today’s media interaction, said the deputy speaker’s ruling was not in line with the Supreme Court verdict on Article 63-A related to the defection clause and added that only parliamentary head of the party had the right to issue directions to the lawmakers.
“If Hamza Shehbaz is fond of wearing achkan suit then he should participate in fashion shows,” he remarked.
The former state minister said the apex court with an “open heart” allowed CM Hamza to serve as the ‘trustee’ chief executive of the province otherwise in reality “he is the fake chief minister”.
“All eyes are on the Supreme Court. We are hopeful that Pervez Elahi will be the chief minister of Punjab,” he added.
He also took a jibe at the former president Asif Ali Zardari, who played a key role in winning Chaudhry Shujaat’s support for PML-N, saying he is only “bhaari (heavy) on thieves and robbers, not on people”.
Former information minister and senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the country had been reeling under political crisis due to “unnecessary adventure of the establishment”.
Speaking to the media in Lahore, Fawad asked the powerful quarters not to “play” with Pakistan as the country was suffering due to political and economic instability.
“How did Chaudhary Shujaat's letter land in deputy speaker's pocket,” Fawad wondered, adding that the Mazari should be summoned in court for contempt.
Meanwhile, PML-Q leader Monis Elahi has said in a statement that the party head Chaudhry Shujaat had directed the party members via letter not to vote for either candidate.
Moonis said he discussed the matter of letter with his uncle Shujaat and the PML-Q chief also confirmed that he had written the letter.
After meeting with Shujaat, Moonis said it appeared that his uncle was under “a lot of pressure”.