Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has suggested the Supreme Court might reverse its old decision pertaining to the lifetime disqualification of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif by using suo motu powers.
“If Supreme Court admits its mistake, their respect will increase,” he said in an interview with Asma Shirazi on her show Faisla Aap Ka which was aired on Aaj News on Tuesday. “The SC can announce the decision in a day.”
The Supreme Court disqualified Sharif on July 28, 2017, from holding public office in a decision on the Panama Papers case. Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, who had headed the apex court’s implementation bench following its April 20 order on the Panama Papers case, announced that the larger bench had unanimously deemed Sharif unfit for holding office and would also order an accountability court to open references against him and his family, and other respondents.
Then Sharif was removed as PML-N head after a three-member Supreme Court bench led by the then-Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar said that an individual disqualified under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution cannot serve as head of a political party.
“The people make decisions about a political leader. Was it right, the way SC de-seated Nawaz?” Abbasi said and demanded the apex court to declare the decision “wrong” and end such a matter.
He wondered under which law any lawmaker was banned from heading the party or holding public office. He further questioned whether the apex court has the prerogative to issue a ‘sadiq and amin’ (truthful and honest) certificate.
Abbasi reiterated that such a decision was taken by the people, not the courts.
“Leave it to the people who are incompetent and who are not,” he said and added that Imran Khan could become party chairman if his sentence was suspended by the court.
When asked, he nowhere it was written in the court that the court had full rights.
The former prime minister added that only the Supreme Court can review its decision, referring to the suo motu powers of the apex court. “Correct these decisions,” he said.
“I say that the Supreme Court should itself restore its reputation,” Abbasi said and wondered whether the court read its own decision or not.
He went on to add that the top court should make a decision so that such a decision was not taken again or else someone else would be barred from holding public office.
“The Supreme Court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif for life. Only the SC can correct this and it should. There is no scope for lifetime disqualification in our law,” Abbasi said, “the top court should review it. It does not take much time. It is a matter of a minute.”
While speaking about elections, the PML-N leader said that polls were held according to the Constitution, not on someone’s wish. “It is better to not hold polls if they are supposed to be held on someone’s wish.”
He was of the view that many people in Punjab, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be deprived of their right to vote if elections were held in winter.
“The Supreme Court can postpone the election for one month if it wants,” he said.