Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Imran Khan accepts Hamza Shehbaz as Punjab CM until reelection

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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has accepted Hamza Shehbaz as Punjab chief minister until reelection, ARY News reported on Friday.  

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has summoned Hamza Shahbaz and Speaker of Punjab Assembly Pervaiz Elahi in a plea filed by PTI challenging the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict for the recount of votes for the election of Chief Minister Punjab.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Jamal Mandokhel heard the petition.

During the hearing, Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi initially agreed that Hamza Shahbaz could remain the chief minister till July 17, but the PTI disagreed.

The Chief Justice asked Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to contact PTI chief Imran Khan regarding the matter of re-election, announcing a half an hour break in the hearing. After the hearing resumed, all the parties agreed that Hamza would remain the chief minister till July 17.

PTI’s counsel Babar Awan expressed before the court that their reservations with the Election Commission of Pakistan were still there. Justice Aijazul Ahsan remarked that the code of conduct of the electoral body was present and the chief justice ordered to ensure it during the bypolls.

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that Hamza Shahbaz was not an elected chief minister and they would embrace him as the acting chief minister. However, the chief justice disagreed with it and said they would use the words which are acceptable to both parties.

Elahi has also requested the court to reschedule the reelection until after the July 17 byelections on 20 PA seats. However, PTI counsel Babar Awan said that PTI does not agree with the proposal advanced by Elahi and was not ready to accept Hamza as chief minister until after July 17.

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