Political reactions to PM’s conviction
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was convicted of contempt of court and sentenced until the rising of the court on Thursday.
A seven-judge bench of the court, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, announced the verdict in the contempt of court case.
The premier was convicted and sentenced under Article 5 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance (Ordinance 5 of 2003) the constitution.
Following are the views of different political actors:
Muttahida Qaumi Movement
Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) ‘Raabita Committee’ regarded Prime Minister Gilani’s conviction a serious and a sensitive issue.
Dr Farooq Sattar of the MQM said: “We have full confidence in the judiciary and respect its decision, however, we are seeking advice from legal experts because for us Pakistan’s stability is of utmost importance.”
Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz
Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif demanded the resignation of the prime minister after he was found guilty.
“The prime minister should immediately resign. He should step down without causing further crisis,” said Sharif.
Reiterating the call for immediate and early elections, he said that “the court’s verdict is based on truth and reality. It must have punished the prime minister with a heavy heart, but the prime minister himself is to be blamed”.
Sharif said the government had done enough to make a mockery of the courts.
Answering a question, Sharif said that a party meeting of the PML-N would be called in a couple of days to discuss a plan of action.
Pakistan People’s Party
Pakistan People’s Party member and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the PPP had always respected the superior judiciary and that the party had been contesting its cases in the courts and “not fighting with the courts”.
Kaira said the prime minister respected the Supreme Court and appeared before it thrice.
Another party member and Minister for Regulations and Services Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that after consultations with legal aides and allied parties, an appeal would be filed in the apex court against the verdict against the prime minister.
The minister said the PPP had always been a victim and a target which was painful for the party’s leadership and workers.
“Conviction of the prime minister of a party which created and guarded the Constitution is a continuation of the process of convictions against PPP leaders,” she said.
“The prime minister is still respectable for the party and its workers as he stood by the graves of our Shaheed leaders,” she said in an emotional tone.
Chief of the Jamaat-i-Islami Munawar Hasan urged the prime minister to quit as he had “lost moral ground” after the judgment.
“The prime minister should have himself declared by now that I am no more prime minister,” he said.
“The Supreme Court sentenced him in an honourable manner and it also got its verdict implemented.
He is now a convicted person and he cannot remain prime minister now,” Hassan told a private television channel.
Former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Asma Jahangir, said: “Prime Minister Gilani remains firm on his constitutional stance and the verdict against him is extremely saddening. Keeping in view the proceedings of the contempt case, it seems that Gilani will continue to work as Pakistan’s prime minister for a long period of time. ” — Compilation by Syed Hasan Ali/Dawn.com