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Political crisis intensifies in Punjab after governor, speaker reject rulings

Punjab Governor Muhammad Balighur Rehman termed the speaker’s ruling yesterday as unconstitutional and illegal.

On December 20, Speaker Sibtain Khan adjourned the PA session till Friday, terming Punjab governor’s order unconstitutional regarding the vote of confidence for Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi.

On the other hand, the federal government immediately changed the Punjab Chief Secretary and IG Punjab to further strengthen its hold.

Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman issued a three-page response to Speaker Sibtain Khan’s ruling.

The order issued by the Governor of Punjab said that your ruling is illegal and unconstitutional, you have taken an oath under the constitution and you cannot deviate from it, I received your ruling issued on December 20 this morning. According to this ruling, it is understood that you do not want to call the meeting under the order given under Article 130 (7) of the Constitution.

The Governor of Punjab has said in his ruling that “You declared in your ruling that during the ongoing session, I cannot call a new session as the governor. You referred to the Lahore High Court approved veto case and declared that the vote of confidence at least 10 days time must be given to the Chief Minister, according to the Constitution you can dismiss the meeting called by you, in the context of calling a meeting under Article 130 (7) of the Constitution. It was necessary that you should have adjourned the meeting sometime before 4 pm on December 21st, then called a new meeting, as an alternative, the meeting of the 41st session of the Assembly can be called, according to you. The 41st session was called by me and I have not dismissed it yet.

It is further stated in the ruling that “The Constitution nowhere prohibits calling a meeting under Article 130 (7), it is not correct to refer to the decision of the Lahore High Court on your behalf. In the current situation, the Chief Minister is fully active. He has not been suspended like Manzoor Watto Case who was out of office for a year, so there is nothing to stop me from taking a vote of confidence to the Chief Minister.

Balighur Rahman wrote in his ruling that “The Constitution has given a period of 3 to 7 days for the motion of no confidence, no time has been specified in the Constitution for the vote of confidence, the framers of the Constitution have not set a time limit for the vote of confidence.” Article 130(7) does not specify any time.

The Governor of Punjab has written in his ruling that “He was suspended due to the Governor’s rule in the Manzoor Wattoo case, so he was given 10 days by the court, your ruling is a violation of Rules 209 of the Rules of Procedure of the Punjab Assembly.” Yes, the rolling can be given only on point of order whereas no point of order was raised during the meeting on December 20. You gave this rolling in your chamber which is in violation of Rules 209 (1).”

The governor of Punjab has further said that “as the custodian of the house and the head of the constitutional body, you should be neutral otherwise it will be a violation of the constitution, I want to draw your attention to the fact that if the assembly session continues, it also has no effect on Article 130 (7) of the Constitution, which means that the Governor can convene a meeting, because of your ruling, the Chief Minister could not take a vote of confidence, with your help, the Chief Minister under a constitutional process. Couldn’t perform your duties fully, you have taken oath under the constitution, your ruling has no bearing on the decree of 19th December.

PA speaker’s ruling

On Tuesday, Speaker Punjab Assembly Sibtain Khan said that I think the demand of vote of confidence by the governor during the ongoing session is unconstitutional.

The PA speaker issued a ruling against Governor Balighur Rehman’s order and adjourned the meeting till Friday.

In the ruling issued by the speaker on the requisition of the members of the Assembly, it was said that the session of the Punjab Assembly called by the Speaker is already ongoing, the session ongoing from October 23 can only be dismissed by the Speaker according to the constitution.

Chief secretary, IG Punjab changed

The federal government issued two orders yesterday and immediately replaced the Chief Secretary of Punjab and IG Punjab.

Abdullah Sumbal has been appointed Chief Secretary Punjab in place of Kamran Ali Afzal, the notification of which has also been issued. Kamran Ali Afzal was ordered to report to the Establishment Division.

On the other hand, the services of IG Punjab Faisal Shahkar have been withdrawn from Punjab and Aamir Zulfikar has been appointed as the new IG Punjab, a notification has also been issued.

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