Two curious news items brought ‘NA-123: Nawaz Continues To Lie‘ back to mind:
The first one states:
ISLAMABAD: The apex court directed the Lahore High Court (LHC) to complete within two weeks the hearing for a plea filed for review of re-issuance of schedule of by-election in NA-123.
The SC heard the plea of Riaz Gujjar—a candidate from NA-123, Lahore constituency.
The court remanded the case to the LHC with direction that case ruling be declared without being affected by SC verdict delivered on January 11.
It should be mentioned that the SC directed the National Assembly, in its ruling, to hold the election NA-123 and also allowed the new candidates to partake the elections.
Why is the SC still pussy-footing on this? Is this issue not exactly like that of NA-55 where the SC delayed justice to deny justice? I am still at a loss to explain why the two petitions were not put together and dealt with together.
The second one states:
LAHORE: Chief of PML-N Nawaz Sharif withdrew his nomination papers for the NA-123 by-elections on Tuesday.
On Monday, the Lahore High Court had adjourned the hearing of Nawaz Sharif’s eligibility case till Tuesday.
The hearing was adjourned after the court’s election tribunal was informed that Sharif’s counsel did not receive the court’s summons and therefore could not appear for the proceedings. The court had ordered that the notice be served again on Nawaz Sharif.
On February 12, the Lahore High Court had issued a notice to Nawaz Sharif to appear on February 15 on a petition filed by a journalist, Shahid Aurakzai, with the Election Tribunal of the Lahore High Court.
The petitioner had challenged the PML-N chief’s eligibility to contest the NA-123 by-elections.
So having decided (Ha! Ha!) not to contest the polls about two weeks ago stating “he has delayed his election to the National Assembly to save President Asif Ali Zardari from the tremendous pressure” , why did it take him this long to withdraw his papers? And is the reason — even today — “to save President Zardari” who by the way he has just declared “biggest threat to democracy“? (Wouldn’t that mean Nawaz, by withdrawing his papers, is now heping the “biggest threat democracy”?)
And again we see Nawaz using the flimsiest of excuses (“did not receive the court’s summons and therefore could not appear for the proceedings“) to manipulate the court and appears trying to avoid coming before it. Why? And why is the LHC letting him get away with it?
BTW, so it appears the next move by Nawaz will be to claim that since he has withdrawn the papers, the question of his ineligibility for NA-123 is irrelevant. Of course, in the meantime Nawaz has successfully manipulated the election process with the LHC and SC obliging. Will LHC have the guts and independence to continue with the proceedings and rule on his eligibility anyways? I DON’T THINK SO!!!! If they do, they will either rule:
- No point continuing since Nawaz has withdrawn papers, or
- If they continue, they will rule “Nawaz is eligible.”
Appears LHC is playing the “bad cop” and SC playing the “good cop”.
UPDATE: Wow! The LHC has acted so fast I got whiplash….This just in…read it and cry:
LAHORE: An Election Tribunal of the Lahore High Court rejected on Tuesday a petition challenging the electoral eligibility of Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif.
The tribunal dismissed the plea and declared Nawaz as eligible to contest election.
The tribunal comprised of Justice Chaudhry Iftikhiar Hussain, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Nasir.
The petitioner, Shahid Orakzai, insisted that Nawaz Sharif was defaulter and was accused of attacking the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, defense lawyer argued that Nawaz Sahrif was not involved in any attack on the apex court.
Really interesting thing is that the defense did not even offer a defense against the “defaulter” accusation. Wah ray LHC!
Also, I am wondering if we will see Nawaz refile papers now that he is cleared or will we see a clarification that the papers were never withdrawn. Of course this is assuming Nawaz will run and he has every reason to run if he was to help democracy rid it of it’s greatest threat. But of course he won’t run because we know his b@lls are all tied up till Dec 20.
(BTW: The speed of this affair today is simply amazing…LHC met and ruled, SC met and ruled, and in response LHC met and ruled — all in one day!!!)