Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
 | 
Last updated 0 minute ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
HOME LOCAL MIDEAST ASIA WORLD BUSINESS SPORT OPINION WRITERS
CJ warns against delaying Pak polls
February 01, 2013
 Print    Send to Friend

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top judge insisted on Thursday that historic elections should be held on time, warning the government and the military against delaying the polls scheduled to take place by mid-May.

The order came amid speculation that the military is working with the judiciary to force out a civilian leader and delay the elections that will mark the first time a civilian government in Pakistan has completed a full term since independence in 1947.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry made the remarks after a senior official wrote to the president accusing the Supreme Court (SC) of putting “extreme pressure” on officers investigating graft allegations against top politicians.

“The executive, both civilian and military, will not take any actions and steps that are tantamount to delaying the election in the name of judiciary and judges on the basis of this letter,” Chaudhry told the court.

“Deviation from the constitution or introducing any other system not recognised by the constitution shall not be acceptable.” The general election is expected in May.

Chaudhry summoned Fasih Bokhari, the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) anti-corruption watchdog, to appear on Feb.4 to answer accusations of contempt for the contents of his letter to President Asif Ali Zardari.

In the letter, Bokhari accused Supreme Court judges of trying to influence Pakistan’s upcoming parliamentary elections.

Chaudhry said the letter amounted to interference in court matters and was an effort to incite against the judiciary.

If we don’t react to this adequately, “people will lose confidence in the courts,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court wanted to know why Bokhari went to such lengths as to write a letter to the president.

Chaudhry stressed that the top court fully backs the holding of free and fair elections, and that no one will be allowed to derail the democratic process.

Bokhari’s clash with the judiciary stems from his refusal in mid-January to arrest Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf over a corruption case involving kickbacks allegedly taken by the premier.

Bokhari refused to arrest Ashraf, citing lack of evidence.

Mainstream commentators, members of the government and opposition politicians are publicly united that elections must be held on time by mid-May.

It will mark the first democratic transition of power between two civilian governments in the history of Pakistan, where the military have staged three coups.

But earlier this week, a leading senator from the main ruling Pakistan People’s Party claimed a conspiracy was being hatched “by certain elements” to delay the election by two or three years.

Raza Rabbani also reportedly said efforts were being made to create conditions similar to those in 1977, when General Zia ul-Haq seized power after elections were clouded by violence and allegations of vote-rigging.

Pakistan’s judiciary has been at loggerheads for years with the civilian government over a series of corruption and contempt cases, which brought down then-prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in June 2012.

The Supreme Court on Jan.15 ordered the arrest of his successor, Raja Pervez Ashraf. The move sparked rumours of a “soft coup” since it coincided with a protest by tens of thousands camped outside parliament and calling for reform.

Agencies
 

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments
 
Post a comment
 
Name:
Country:
City:
Email:
Comment:
 
    
    
Related Stories
Army to protect anti-polio campaigners
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army said on Thursday it would assist the civil government in making the anti-polio campaign following attacks on volunteers and police guarding them...
Tribal kids to get polio jab at checkposts
PESHAWAR: Pakistani officials said on Monday they would begin administering polio vaccines to children at security checkpoints in the country’s tribal belt to protect aga..
Upper House quiet on foreign affairs: Report
ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of Pakistan has paid little attention to foreign affairs over the past year, the Free and Fair Election Network’s (FAFEN) Annual Senate Report..
MQM chief applies for Pakistani passport in UK
ISLAMABAD: The supreme leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Altaf Hussain, has applied for a Pakistani passport, said a news report. The London-based MQM chie..
Sharif faces fight over tough anti-terror legislation
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government is facing a battle to enact a tough anti-terror law that rights activists and opposition parties have attacked as repressive. The P..
 
FRONTPAGE
 
GALLERY
 
PANORAMA
 
TIME OUT
 
SPORT
 
 
Advertise | Copyright