The Supreme Court has reserved its judgement on the question of forming the full court to hear the petition against ruling of deputy speaker Punjab Assembly. The Supreme Court might announce the decision today. It will become clear that whether three member bench of SC will hear and decide the case or a full bench will decide the matter.
The reelection of CM Punjab held on July 22 once again ended up in the Supreme Court. It was hoped that the rerun for the CM Punjab will end the political crisis in Punjab. But new controversy arises from the July 22 re-election. The Deputy Speaker Punjab assembly Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari rejected the 10 votes of PML-Q on the basis of a letter from PML-Q President Ch Shujaat Hussain.
Now the Supreme Court of Pakistan is again hearing the petition filed by Ch Pervaiz Elahi against the ruling of Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly for rejecting the 10 votes of PML-Q. The Supreme Court is hearing the petition against the election of CM Punjab for the second time.
The Supreme Court ordered to hold the re-election of CM Punjab on July 22 after the July 17 by polls. PTI won majority after the by polls as it won 15 out of 20 seats. Now PTI has 176 MPAs while PML-N has 168 MPAs. 186 MPAs including 10 PML-Q MPAs voted for Ch Pervaiz Elahi in the rerun. Hamza Shahbaz secured 179 votes. The deputy speaker Punjab Assembly rejected the PML-Q votes and declared Hamza as winner.
Now the question is that whether the Supreme Court’s decision will be able to solve the political crisis in Punjab or it will drag on. It seems that SC decision will not end the political crisis in Punjab.
The history tells us that Supreme Court can only settle the legal and constitutional matters in the cases of political nature. The Supreme Court’s decision will decide that who will be the legal and constitutional Chief Minister of Punjab. If Supreme Court declares that the ruling of deputy speaker is illegal and null and void then Ch Pervaiz will become the CM Punjab. And if SC upholds the ruling of Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari then Hamza Shahbaz will continue as CM
Supreme Court can only settle the matter of CM Punjab but political crisis will continue. The political struggle to control Punjab between PML-N and PTI will continue. This power struggle has created the political crisis in Punjab. So it will not end with SC decision.
One thing is clear that Ch Pervaiz Elahi led PTI government is not going to have a smooth sailing. The governor Punjab can ask the CM Punjab to take vote of confidence. Other tactics could also be used to destablise the PML-Q/PTI coalition government.
Now question arise here that why PML-N and PTI are engaged in an intense political struggle in Punjab? Both are fighting out to protect or gain their political interests. On the one hand, PTI wants to gain control of Punjab to destablise the federal government. PTI want to use the Punjab government to increase pressure on the federal government to announce fresh elections.
PTI can achieve its goal through two means. PTI can dissolve the Punjab Assembly to intensify the political crisis in the country. PTI can also use the Punjab government to organise another long march towards Islamabad. Last time, PML-N government in Punjab used the police to stop the PTI long march in May. PTI government in Punjab will facilitate the next call of long march.
On the other hand, PML-N considers it necessary to control Punjab to bring some political stability in the country. PML-N believes that to complete the term of remaining one year, the government in Punjab is crucial to achieve this goal.
After losing the government in Punjab, PML-N led coalition government in Islamabad will become more vulnerable. Both parties want to achieve their political goals through any means possible.
The political crisis in Punjab is the result of SC decision on Article 63-A, and power struggle between PTI and PML-N. The SC can settle legal matters but political battle will not end without a fresh election. The number game in Punjab assembly is such that no party has command in Punjab Assembly. PML-Q’s 10 votes are crucial.
Let’s see how the SC is going to decide the matter of PML-Q votes. These 10 votes are crucial in the present context.
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