Saturday, July 2, 2022

‘Omar Cheema still holds office’: President asks PM to reconsider advice about Governor Punjab

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President Dr Arif Alvi has conveyed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Shehbaz Sharif to reconsider his advice about the appointment of Governor Punjab as Omar Sarfraz Cheema still holds the office of the Governor and there is no occasion to propose a new appointment.

Referring to President’s Secretariat’s earlier communication, dated May 09, 2022, the President reiterated that “the Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President”, as envisaged by Article 101 (2) of the Constitution. He added that the present circumstances demanded that the incumbent Governor should continue to hold that position.

The President also made reference to Governor Punjab’s letter, dated 23rd April 2022, and a Report, dated 4th May 2022, in which it had been highlighted that the change in loyalties of the members of the Punjab Assembly, during the election of the Chief Minister of Punjab Hamza Shehbaz, and cobbling of the majority by illegal means had generated serious governance issues in the province as well as violated the Article 63-A of the Constitution.

President Arif Alvi further highlighted that the principled stand of then Governor Omar Cheema had been vindicated by the recent pronouncement of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on May 17, 2022, on Reference No 1 of 2022, moved by the President of Pakistan.

He underscored that the stance of the Governor Punjab was further augmented by the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), on May 20, 2022, declaring the defection and changing loyalties of the 25 Members of Provincial Assembly Punjab (MPAs) in the election of Chief Minister, Punjab as the “worst form of betraying the electorate and party’s policy”.

He added that the 25 defecting MPAs had ceased to be members of the Punjab Assembly, as per ECP’s decision. In view of the above-mentioned facts, the President asked the Prime Minister to reconsider his advice with regard to the appointment of a new Governor Punjab in accordance with Article 48 (1) of the Constitution.

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