The confrontation between the ruling Pakistan People's Party and the judiciary has taken a new turn following a High Court Chief Justice's advice to the PPP to quit the coalition in Punjab province if it has objections to the appointment of a legal official.
Senior PPP leaders and prominent lawyers have taken exception to Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Mohammad Sharif’s comments and said they will approach the Supreme Judicial Council to take action against him.
Addressing the Hafizabad Bar Association yesterday, Sharif advised the PPP to quit the PML-N-led coalition in
Punjab if it has objections to the appointment of the new provincial Prosecution Secretary Rana Maqbool.
The PPP has reportedly objected to former police official Maqbool's appointment to the post as he has been
accused of torturing President Asif Ali Zardari when he was imprisoned in 1995.
Senior PPP leader Raja Riaz, also a minister in the Punjab government, described Chief Justice Sharif as a "PML-N
spokesman" and asked him to resign to contest polls on a PML-N ticket.
"We will foil designs of the Sharif courts against democracy. We are going to file a reference in the Supreme
Judicial Council against Khwaja Sharif for acting as a PML-N spokesman," Riaz said.
"Is a Chief Justice authorised to represent a proclaimed offender and can he advise a major political party
to quit the government?" he said.
The PPP has defeated military dictatorships in the past and is capable of fighting against any "judicial
dictatorship," he added.