Pakistan

Ex-CJ urges govt for an interim PM in Sharif’s absence

iftikhar

ISLAMABAD: Former chief justice (CJ) of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry urged the government on Saturday to elect a caretaker prime minister in order to avoid possible ‘constitutional crisis’ in the absence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, ARY News reported.

Speaking at a news conference here, Chaudhry said that the government should elect a new prime minister to save itself from a constitutional crisis.

“The face that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be undergoing an open-heart surgery in London has put the government in a constitutional limbo as to who will run the affairs of the country in such a situation,” he said while wishing speedy recovery of the premier.

The former chief justice, who now heads his own Justice and Democratic Party, said it is unconstitutional for the government to delegate PM’s powers to a minister.

“Since the premier is to undergo surgery on Tuesday, and if there occurs some emergency then in that case no one will be able to exercise his powers,” he explained. “Similarly, no one can make an appointment on a constitutional post, except the PM, so, the government should elect an interim prime minister to avoid a constitutional crisis.”

He said the country is in a state of war and in case there happens some emergency, it will shake the entire system, adding, “This is not a matter of personal rivalry, but a constitutional requirement”.

There is no clause in the constitution that suggests appointing a senior minister, he contended.

“Pakistan is a nuclear state and surrounded by enemies from all sides, under such a situation the affairs of the country can’t be run in the absence of PM, nor even the budget any legality under these circumstances,” Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said.

The budget session can only be summoned upon prime minister’s summary and the solution to all this crisis lies in electing the new premier, he asserted.

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