Alvi's letter a PTI's press release, carries 'anti-govt views': PM Shehbaz
The premier replied to the letter written by the president on March 24
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has written a reply letter to President Dr Arif Alvi, terming the latter's written correspondence regarding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) a "one-sided affair" and "PTI's press release".
The premier wrote the letter -- that contains five pages and seven points -- in response to the letter written by President Alvi on March 24.
In the reply letter, the premier said had been forced to say that the Alvi's letter appeared to be a press release of the PTI, one-sided and reflected the anti-government's sentiments.
"Your letter doesn't reflect the constitutional position of the president and that you have been doing this continuously. On April 3, 2022, you followed the unconstitutional instructions of the former prime minister by dissolving the National Assembly. Your order was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on April 7," Shehbaz conveyed to Alvi.
The prime minister further stated even in the matter of his oath as the prime minister under Clause 5 of the Article 91, the president had failed to fulfill his constitutional duty and that on many occasions the president worked actively against the "elected constitutional government".
"Having tried my best to establish a relationship, I am compelled to respond to you by the tone you used in your letter," Shehbaz further said.
President Alvi on Friday had penned a letter to PM Shehbaz, urging him to ensure the implementation of the Supreme Court’s orders in relation to the general elections in both provinces.
The move comes after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had postponed the upcoming elections in Punjab -- initially scheduled to be held on April 30 -- citing security reasons as the major cause behind the change in plans.
In the letter shared by PM Office Media Wing in a press release, the prime minister further addressing the president said that it was a matter of record that previously, he (the president) had acted in a similar patrician manner on several occasions in violation of his oath.
These occasions included i.e. letter for dissolution of the National Assembly on April 3, 2022 on the illegal instructions of the former prime minister (Imran Khan) which was declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on April 7 last year and upon his elections as the prime minister, the president failed to discharge his constitutional duty in terms of clause (5) of Article 91.
“Despite the foregoing and several other instances, where you actively worked towards undermining a constitutionally elected government. I have made all-out efforts to maintain good working relationship with you. However, the contents of your letter, its tone and language has compelled me to respond to it,” the prime minister further added.
The prime minister responding to the points raised by the president regarding alleged fundamental and human rights violations as highlighted by media, said that the reference was quite clear as it referred to the politicians and workers belonging to a political party to which the president also belonged to.
The prime minister categorically said that substantive and procedural due process guaranteed under the Constitution under Articles 4 and 10A was being afforded to all.
“All the actions taken by the law enforcement agencies are strictly in accordance with law to maintain law and order and establish the writ of the state,” he said, adding that in all instances, aggrieved persons had approached the appropriate legal fora.
The prime minister further observed that regrettably due to party allegiance, the president failed to note sheer violation of laws, contumacious disregard of courts orders, attacking the law enforcement agencies, damaging public property, attempts to create chaos, civil and political unrest and ‘in short to bring the country to the brink of economic default and civil war’ by the PTI.
He said what had really tarnished the image of Pakistan in the international community and was casting negative repercussions on the future of democracy and state of human rights in Pakistan was the complete disregard of the laws and the constitution by the PTI.
Moreover, the president, on any occasion, had not uttered even a single word regarding the conduct of Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, chairman PTI, on is actions in response to lawfully issued court orders for his appearance in criminal proceedings, he added.
The prime minister said “May I also add, never in our history have we ever witnessed such aggressive, rather militant, attitude of political order in complete defiance of court orders.”
The prime minister to another point, maintained that his government ensured complete freedom of speech and expression as enshrined in the constitution.
He regretted that the president never raised his voice or shared his concerns in the manner as he had in his letter, in the past when PTI was in power.
The prime minister referred to the annual world report issued by the Human Rights Watch covering 2021 when the PTI’s government was in office, which said “the Pakistan government intensified its efforts to control the media and curtail dissent. Authorities harassed and at times detained journalists and other members of civil society for criticizing government officials and policies. Violent attacks on members of the media also continue.”