A New Battlefield of choice…..???
A New Battlefield of choice…..???
After the day-long discussions and brainstorming sessions at Prime Minister’s House on Friday with constant input from President Asif Zardari from Karachi, where he was tackling another important issue of dealing with the fragile law and order situation and at tenterhook relations with MQM, the PPP reached at a point not to use the option of filing an appeal and stick to the ruling of Speaker.
The decision of not going for an appeal against the conviction of the Prime Minister Gilani was more political than legal as the hawks in the party were of the view that Speaker’s ruling would provide them a battlefield of their choice to lock horns with superior judiciary and easily turn it into an issue of jurisdiction between the superior judiciary and Parliament, wherein the matter of Prime Minsiter Gilani’s disqualification would conveniently be obscured.
As the legal brains of the party were sharply divided over the issue of filing or otherwise of appeal on Saturday, the last day for filing of the appeal, but as the people who opposed the filing of the appeal on the ground that it would undermine the Speaker’s ruling were on strong footing the chances of filing the appeal were almost nil.
However the counsels assisting Barrister Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan would remain in the Supreme Court of Pakistan along with appeal till the office time as if in case of some eleventh hour change in the decision of not filing the appeal they could submit the appeal before the apex court.
Sources in the PPP informed that on Friday Prime Minister remained busy discussing various options with his close associates in the party and the legal team including his counsel Barrister Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan in the case wherein there was clear-cut divide in the legal brains of the party one group including Barrister Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan suggested to use the option of appeal while the other one was opposing it on the ground that after the Speaker’s verdict if the government would go for appeal that would undermine the ruling of the Speaker.
Those suggesting to go for appeal were of the view that in case some one challenge the Speaker’s decision on the disqualification reference, sent to her by the apex court to initiate the disqualification process against the Prime Minister in the light of his conviction in the contempt of court case, the government would land in trouble because it would entail to a lot of legal complexities.
Earlier before the Speaker’s decision on the apex court verdict the government was all set to file an appeal against the verdict and Barrister Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan had prepared an appeal wherein he had raised some 150 plus law points to frame his case after going through the detailed judgment of the apex court.
Though the time of filing an appeal has expired on Friday mid-night as the 30 days period given for filing an appeal was over, but some legal and constitution experts said that it was not a serious matter as usually the court on seeking time relaxation would allow filing of appeal even after expiry of the time limit for filing of an appeal.
Sources in the Prime Minister House informed that Prime Minister Gilani remained busy meeting with the legal team including Barrister Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan, Federal Law Minister Farooq Hameed Naik, Attorney General Irfan Qadir and also sought advice from many other legal and constitutional experts on telephone.
In the meantime Prime Minister Gilani also remained in touch with President Asif Ali Zardari on telephone and both of them had discussed the situation obtaining out of the Speaker’s ruling, its possible fallouts and the government strategy to tackle it.
Sources in party said that President Asif Ali Zardari was of the view that Prime Minister should not file an appeal and would fully rely on the Speaker’s ruling until it would become ineffective as a result of some legal course.
Political analysts were of the view that the decision of PPP at eleventh hour to use the option of Speaker National Assembly to discard the Supreme Court’s reference first and dropping the option of filing appeal was made on political grounds as they wanted to open battlefield of their choice where they could easily turn the simple case of Prime Minister’s disqualification into clash between the Parliament and superior judiciary and would try to portray PPP as victim.
In the process they would even sacrifice Prime Minister Gilani and bring in the new face most probably Makhdoom Shahbuddin from southern Punjab just to portray PPP as victim of the clash between the institutions and to win the masses sympathies to cash on in the next general elections.