Quit or face impeachment
LAHORE - President Supreme Court Bar Association and former PPP MNA Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan has demanded of President Pervez Musharraf to resign as it was the only way left for him after the defeat of his supporter party, PML(Q) in the elections.
Talking to the media at his residence on Tuesday ,he said that the party for which President Musharraf was seeking support, has been routed in the elections therefore he must resign which was the only way out for him.
Aitzaz, who has been detained at his residence at Zaman Park, also called for the resignation of Ch Shujaat Hussain as President PML-Q on the grounds that what the country is facing today is a result of the policies his party has pursued in power.
He strongly supported restoration of the judges deposed on November 3 for making the judiciary independent.
In his view, the PPP govt after coming to power would restore the judiciary to its pre-November 3 position by reinstating the deposed judges of the superior courts.
He said that the matter about the restoration of the judiciary can be well settled in the Parliament as the judges were removed through an executive order which the Parliament can easily strike down.
Aitzaz said that lawyers community was committed for the restoration of the judges and had set a deadline of March 9 next for this purpose and if the needful was not done by that day, a rally will be held outside the Parliament House, Islamabad, the same day.
As to a question regarding a reported offer to him by PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif to become the Prime Minister, he said he was moved by this gesture and was thankful to him. However, he said, he was member of the PPP and had enjoyed many offices in the past and by the grace of Allah, earned a lot of respect therefore, he was not aspirant for any other office.
Media was allowed to see Aitzaz who ,however, was not allowed to come out of the premises. First time the security persons appointed at his residence, did not so strictly stop the media persons from talking to Aitzaz.
AFP adds: “He (Musharraf) is the most hated man in the country and he must resign. There is no other way,” Aitzaz told AFP at his home in Lahore, where he has spent months under house arrest.
“If he doesn’t resign, he should be impeached,” said Aitzaz, the President of Supreme Court Bar Association.
Aitzaz a key leader of lawyers’ protests which rocked Pakistan last year, said any new government must reinstate 63 judges sacked by Musharraf under emergency rule last year, or face the consequences.
“If they are not reinstated by the ninth of March then we will march on Islamabad,” he said, referring to lawyers and judges.
He said he was hopeful they would be reinstated - a key election pledge of the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N.
“All his horses have lost. He should realise that,” said Aitzaz.
He said that although police still surrounded his home, jail staff had not shown up at his house Tuesday morning and his phones had been reconnected.
The lawyer said he expected he would be free to leave his house within 24 hours.
He said he expected the PPP to form a coalition with the PML-N led by ex-prime minister Sharif.
He said it would be “ill-advised” for PPP to enter a power-sharing agreement with Musharraf.
“After this verdict, Musharraf has obviously been disqualified to run this country,” he said.
APP Adds: Talking to a private television channel in a telephonic interview, Aitzaz Ahsan said that politicians should think on formation of consensus governments in the centre and all the provinces to strengthen democracy in the country.
He said the ideal situation would be that office of the prime minister be given to the PPP, while in Sindh the party should form its government. In NWFP, the PPP and ANP should form the government while in Punjab the PML-N should form its governments with cooperation of likeminded parties. He said in Balochistan the situation was complicated due to split mandate but things would get settled with the passage of time.
To a question, he said the nomination of PM hopeful would be made by Central Executive Committee of the party but in his own opinion Amin Fahim was a suitable candidate in the prevailing condition. He was of the view that democratic institutions could be strengthened only when the deposed judges of superior courts were restored and allowed to work independently.