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LHC directs Zardari not to participate in political activities

LHC directs Zardari not to participate in political activities

LAHORE, (SANA): Lahore High Court (LHC) has directed the President Asif Ali Zardari not to take part in the political activities nor have meetings with the politicians. The court has directed the counsel of the federation Wasim Sajjad to submit reply on the 29th March; otherwise the court will hear the case on 30th March instead of court holiday.

A five-judge full bench of the LHC headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, on Monday resumed hearing the petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against President Zardari for not complying with its May 12, 2011, judgment declaring political activities by the President unconstitutional.

The court said that its ruling with respect to cessation of political activities in the Presidency was not being implemented. The court ordered that President Asif Ali Zardari should respect the order of the court issued on February 15 in which President was directed not to participate in the political activities.

The court rejected all the reports from the presidency over the non-participation of the president in the political activities.

The court rejected the claim that people’s Party and People’s Party Parliamentarians are two parties, adding that both the parties are one and the same party. The court said both the parties are reflection of each other.

Chief Justice LHC inquired Additional Attorney General Abdul Khai Gilani that he assured the court that President Asif Ali Zardari would not participate in the political activities, but the newspapers and the TV channels are saying that President Asif Ali Zardari are participating in the political activities and are not obeying the orders of the court.

Upon this, Additional Attorney General said that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari presided over all the meetings held in Lahore and President Asif Ali Zardari did not participate in these meetings. He said that these news are false and baseless.

Chief Justice LHC said that if these news were false, why the denial of the news was not published. Additional Attorney General said that media is not ready hear their point of view over this issue.

During the hearing the Counsel of the federation Waseem Sajjad and the Attorney General did not appear in the court. The Additional Attorney General filed petition for adjournment of the case and informed the court that Waseem Sajjad is busy due to the rental case in the apex court and therefore, he can not appear in the court.

Chief Justice LHC Umar Ata Bandial said that the counsel of the government assured that co-chairman of the PPP is not the political authority; it is non-political office and NGO.

The counsel of the petitioner informed that the names of vice Chairman Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Secretary General Jhangir Badar, Raza Rabbani, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Rukhsana Bangesh, Rehman Malik, Ahmed Mukhtar, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Nisar Ahmed Khoro, Syed Khursheed shah, Dr. Fehmida Mirza and others are included in it and it is on the website of the PPP.

Upon this, the court said that all these persons who are in the present government of the PPP are its ministers. The court further said that it shows that People’s Party and People’s Party Parliamentarians are one and the same thing.

The bench added that the president should adopt a honest approach in the petition, adding that if the presidency failed to respond positively up to March 29, the bench would rule on the matter accordingly.

Earlier, during the hearing Additional Attorney General Abdul Hai Gilani submitted the plea on the behalf of the Wasim Sajjad and requested the adjournment of proceedings.

Chief Justice LHC Umar Ata Bandial said that the bench had been apprised that no political activities were taking place in the Presidency; however, the media had been reporting that these were at their peak.

He further remarked as to what the bench should do with the government’s assurance regarding the cessation of political activities in the Presidency.

The Court rejected government assurance regarding President Asif Ali Zardari’s political activities. Addition Attorney General presented arguments in the case.

During case proceeding, the press reports and newspapers showing president’s political activities were presented before the bench.

LHC Chief Justice stated that despite government assurances, President Asif Ali Zardari participated in the political activities in past few days. The bench later adjourned the hearing till March 29.

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