Home Global Village Thunderous farewell speech by Aitzaz Ahsan

Thunderous farewell speech by Aitzaz Ahsan

Aitzaz Ahsan

News Analysis |

Outgoing senator Aitzaz Ahsan heavily criticized the PML-N in a speech in the Parliament for its behavior following the verdict given by the Supreme Court in the Panamagate verdict. In minced words, he accused the PML-N of creating a space for a dictator who could overthrow the democratic system as they are “attacking the higher judiciary of the country in speeches and rallies.” He also said that the judiciary had been very lenient in dealing with its critics.

The former Prime Minister and Chairman PML-N Nawaz Sharif has been on an anti-judiciary tirade following his disqualification as Prime minister last july. In rallies and speeches in various cities across Pakistan, Sharif has reiterated that he still does not know why he was disqualified and that a conspiracy has been hatched against him to weaken or topple his government.

Towards the conclusion of his speech, he reiterated that none of the accused among the leadership of PML-N has been placed in the Exit Control List like members of his own party who were investigated on corruption charges.

In his speech, Aitzaz Ahsan said, “They [PML-N] say that the judiciary’s verdicts are penned ‘somewhere else’ but where are they [the verdicts] written when it is your [the PML-N] government that is in power?” ‘Penned somewhere else’ refers to the conspiracy theory that the former prime minister seems to be propagating, that the Army is somehow influencing the judiciary to give decisions against him.

Aitzaz Ahsan, however, also said in his speech that all institutions must operate within their prescribed constitutional boundaries. He agreed with fellow PPP senator Farhatullah Babar that it was “frightening” when poetry is quoted by judges. Ahsan also criticized the military, adding that the military personnel had overstepped their bounds when they distributed Rs. 1000 at the Faizabad sit-in.”

Read more: Should Ch. Nisar & Aitzaz Ahsan join PTI?

The Faizabad sit-in was held by protestors against a controversial change in the oath that prospective Parliamentarians have to take under the Elections Act 2017. The amendment was reversed, in accordance with the demands of the protestors. Towards the end of the sit-in, a video emerged on social media of DG Rangers Punjab Maj. General Azhar Naveed giving cheques of Rs. 1000 each to several protestors. This fanned the flames of conspiracy theories that the military had backed the Faizabad Dharna. The Chief of Army Staff, in a response to such rumours, said that he will resign if found to be involved in the dharna.

Aitzaz Ahsan also said that each institution must operate within its limits and that includes the Parliament. “The Parliament, judiciary and executive are three pillars of the state and the army is one of the arms of the executive,” he added.

Aitzaz Ahsan also said that the decision to call a strike by civil servants was made in the office of the Chief Secretary, which is treason. Ahsan argued there is a different standard being applied in Punjab whereas “the people of Balochistan are picked up even if a leaf falls out of place.”

The now former PPP senator also chastised the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for rejecting the verdict in Panama Papers. Nawaz Sharif protests that the decision against him is not impartial since the Panamagate verdict was issued on iqama. At the same time, Ahsan added, the PML-N leadership seems to have quietly accepted the Hudaibiya Papers Mills appeal decision because the decision was in their favour.

The PPP senator further contested that when Yousaf Raza Gillani, the Prime Minister during the PPP government, was disqualified, it was the PML-N who said that the decision of the Apex Court in the country must be respected. PM Gillani was disqualified in 2012 for contempt of court for not following the Supreme Court’s orders to open fraud cases against PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

Read more: The Blue-Eyed mutineers

Ahsan also mentioned that when the Supreme Court gave the decision to allow the continued development of the Orange Line Metro Train despite the risk to the historical Shalimar Garden, the PML-N did not issue any criticism against the judiciary. The Shalimar Garden was built in the 17th century by Shah Jahan and is one of Pakistan’s most visited historical sites.

In rallies and speeches in various cities across Pakistan, Sharif has reiterated that he still does not know why he was disqualified and that a conspiracy has been hatched against him to weaken or topple his government.

When a senior bureaucrat, Ahad Cheem, was arrested on corruption charges, only then did the judiciary and accountability courts became a target of opprobrium, Ahsan further said. Ahad Cheema in an officer of the Pakistan Administrative Services. He was promoted to grade-20 two days after his arrest on charges of corruption in the Ashiana Housing Society project. Ahad Cheem is believed to possess information that may incriminate other officials in the Punjab government.

Read more: Can Zardari finish off the PML-N government?

Aitzaz Ahsan also said that the decision to call a strike by civil servants was made in the office of the Chief Secretary, which is treason. Ahsan argued there is a different standard being applied in Punjab whereas “the people of Balochistan are picked up even if a leaf falls out of place.”

Ahsan also said, “How much pressure would the court be in [after the Chief Justice is criticized so openly]? Towards the conclusion of his speech, he reiterated that none of the accused among the leadership of PML-N has been placed in the Exit Control List like members of his own party who were investigated on corruption charges.


1 COMMENT

  1. There was an equally, if not more, important speech delivered by Senator Farhatullah Babar the other day. GVS did not find it “interesting”???

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