Unification Bloc suggests dissolution of Punjab Assembly | Pakistan Today

Unification Bloc suggests dissolution of Punjab Assembly

Whether he is speaking his own mind or that of the Sharif’s, the proposal of Dr Tahir Ali Javed to dissolve the Punjab Assembly to preempt the PPP’s prospects in the Senate elections has added a dramatic new twist to the country’s politics.
Dr Javed, who is the parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) dissident group in the Punjab Assembly, the Unification Bloc, suggested here on Sunday that the Punjab Assembly be dissolved before the upcoming Senate elections in March 2012 to avoid the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s expected win. Reportedly, Dr Javed has expressed the intentions to advise Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to dissolve the provincial assembly because stopping Senate elections is imperative to bringing about real change in the political landscape.
He said it would be inevitable to dissolve the electoral college for fair Senate elections. “Punjab represents 60 percent of the country,” he said, adding that he would have a formal meeting with the chief minister and suggest the dissolution of the provincial assembly. He said if Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) wanted real change, the party would have to take bold steps to block the way of corrupt rulers.
He said if the Senate elections were held with the current electoral college, political pundits predicted a PPP majority in the Upper House of parliament even if the party suffered losses in the next general elections. He pledged to support the PML-N in the decision to dissolve the Punjab Assembly.
IDEA OPPOSED: Reacting to Unification Bloc leader’s point of view, the PML-N, of which the bloc is an ally in the provincial assembly, refused the proposal. The Punjab government’s spokesman Senator Pervez Rashid clarified that no such suggestion was under consideration. He said neither the Punjab government nor the PML-N was in favour of such an extreme decision and the proposal was Dr Javed’s personal opinion.
PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah Khan said the suggestion had nothing to with the party policy. “We have not made any such decision and will act according to the situation,” he said. Clarifying his party’s point of view further, he said the suggestion was nothing more than a myth as the Senate elections had never been the party’s goal and focus.
He also said that all options were open in politics. “Including such suggestions, there are others in mind and we continue to discuss them,” he said, adding that if the situation was right, “we may proceed and show the appropriate card at the appropriate time”. PML-N spokesman Siddiqul Farooq said his party might consider Dr Javed’s suggestion to dissolve the Punjab Assembly. Farooq said any chief minister had the authority to suggest the dissolution of the provincial assembly to the governor.
He also said the president was constitutionally bound to dissolve the assembly if such a suggestion was made by the chief minister, however he said no such suggestion was currently under consideration. In response to Dr Javed’s statement, Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa said he would see if any such summary came to him for approval, but he would not act against the constitution.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Parliamentary Leader in the Punjab Assembly Major (r) Zulfiqar Gondal said the proposal was in fact a conspiracy against Shahbaz Sharif as “the turncoats” who had not been given the ministries and the perks they desired wanted to get rid of a chief minister that never respected the legislators and public mandate. Gondal said the proposal had another dimension that related to the PML-N’s plans to weaken democracy and sabotage the Senate elections.
It was this reason that compelled the PML-N to stage sponsored protests against load shedding and holding a sit-in in front of President’s House, he said, adding that “they forget that no Ziaul Haq or Hameed Gul is in power to provide them the opportunity to turn the situation in their favour”. He said if the PML-N made the mistake of dissolving the provincial assembly, the PPP would initiate constitutional steps under which fresh elections would be held and the allied PPP-PML-Q government would certainly come into power again.
AWAN: PPP leader and former federal law minister Dr Babar Awan said the Senate elections would be held on time and no assembly would be dissolved before the polls. He said that under a plan, Nawaz Sharif and his party were spreading rumours in the media that the Punjab Assembly would be dissolved before the Senate elections. He said it was a mere hoax and propaganda to hoodwink the people but, it would not succeed.
Awan said dissolving the assembly would be unconstitutional and undemocratic, and urged the PML-N to participate in the Senate elections in the spirit of democracy. PPP Deputy Parliamentary Leader Shoukat Mehmood Basra dubbed the idea “illogical and absurd”. He told Pakistan Today that the proposal was in fact aired to create a justification for avoiding Senate elections. PML-Q Parliamentary Leader Chaudhry Zaheeruddin opposed the proposal as well and said it was undemocratic, unconstitutional and anti-public.
The ruling PPP enjoys a majority in the 100-seat Senate. The two largest national political parties, the PML-N and PPP, are gearing up for Upper House elections to be held in March 2012.



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2 Comments

  1. Insider said:

    Its hotting up. But in the fashion of the politics of colonial England.

  2. Sameer Haider said:

    The proposal to dissolve Punjab Assembly has strongly stirred the political atmosphere. Whether the author of this proposal is Tahir Javed himself or he has been put up to it by those interested in testing the political temperature, it reflects the increasingly bitter relations between the incumbents and the main opposition party, the PML-N. There may be an element of frustration in the PML-N’s clutching at such far fetched straws, since it has signally failed to dent the PPP-led government over the last three and a half years despite an on-again-off-again campaign against the latter. In a replay of the PPP’s consistently outsmarting the PML-N since 2008, the latter’s recent ‘agitation’ failed to take off, partly because the coalition was once again consolidated by bringing the MQM back into the fold and allaying the complaints of the PML-Q, partly by an emergency injection of Rs 11 billion into the energy sector to take the bite off the load shedding protests. The PML-N has now decided to dig in for the long haul by increasing its pressure on the government on all fronts inside and outside parliament. It must be said to Nawaz Sharif’s credit in this context that he has learnt the lessons of the past well and consistently rejected any idea of appeals for extra-constitutional intervention, of which we have such a sorry history and of which Nawaz Sharif himself has been a victim. We hope this wisdom of the PML-N leader incrementally creeps into the minds of the party as a whole and in the process teaches them some of the overriding principles of democracy: patience, perseverance, consistency, final reward from the people, and no one else.

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