PM calls cabinet meeting today to discuss ‘current crisis’

ISLAMABAD, April 09: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called a cabinet meeting on the weekly holiday (Sunday) to deal with the “current political and constitutional crisis” in the country. 

The meeting will be held at 2 pm and will be chaired by PM Shehbaz who will be joining the meeting at the Prime Minister House via a video link from Lahore.

Federal Minister of Law Nazir Tarar, PM’s aides Attaullah Tarar, Malik Ahmed Khan and other important leaders are expected to participate in the meeting.

In the meeting, the decisions of the National Security Committee (NSC) will be approved, while the legal consultation and the strategy related to the decision of the Supreme Court on Punjab polls will be reviewed.

Consideration will also be given to get the judicial reform bill approved by the joint session of the parliament.

It is pertinent to note that a day earlier President Dr Arif Alvi had returned the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023 – which aims to curtail the powers of the chief justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice and constitute benches on his own – to the Parliament for reconsideration.

On Friday, the premier had presided over a meeting of the NSC, the highest forum to discuss issues of national importance and to review the internal and external situation of law and order in the country.

As per sources, Minister of Interior Affairs Rana Sanaullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister of Defense Khawaja Asif and Minister of Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb had participated in the meeting.

Chiefs of Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy, as well as the chairman joint chiefs of staff committee alongside Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chief ministers were also present.

These meetings are taking place as the coalition government faces off with the judiciary following the Supreme Court’s ruling that directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold elections in Punjab on May 14.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has claimed that the PDM coalition government called the NSC meeting in an attempt to use national security as a pretext for the postponement of elections.

He said that the government brought in an “unconstitutional bill” on the apex court, and a National Assembly resolution against the judiciary.

Earlier, the National Assembly had passed a resolution declaring that parliament rejected the SC verdict regarding the election in Punjab.

The lawmakers, in the resolution, had also barred the prime minister and the federal cabinet from implementing the decision while urging the top court to form a full court to review the “rewriting” of the Constitution under Article 63-A.

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