The nation remains in a quandary as Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders converged on London on Thursday to take a final decision on the mode of restoration of the deposed judges.
These leaders are required to fight against time to meet the May 12 deadline to move the resolution for judges’ return in the National Assembly. They are expected to meet today (Friday) though no schedule of their meeting has been announced.
The London talks fellow parleys between the two allies in Dubai, where a fresh deadline of May 12 was set for the return of the judges. Earlier, the leaders of both parties agreed in Murree to restore the judges in 30 days, deadline that expired on April 30.
Independent observers expressed fears of yet another delay in the deadline because of the divergent views aired by two constitutional experts on the committee, Aitzaz Ahsan and Abdul Hafiz Pirzada.
Talking to Geo News Hafiz Pirzada Thursday raised further doubts about meeting the deadline by saying that he had not even received the agreed draft of the resolution on the judges’ restoration.
He said the resolution was drafted by the PPP and PML-N, and he and Aitzaz only concentrated on the mode to implement it. He said according to the committee decision he was to receive the draft of the resolution by Thursday. But he did not receive it, he said.
Pirzada said Aitzaz was of the view that after the passage of the resolution in the National Assembly, the judges’ restoration did not require any executive order. While, he said, he believed that an amendment in the constitution was a must for the return of the judges, even after the passage of the resolution in the National Assembly.
He said these were the extremely opposite views and political leaders had to make their own decision. When asked how the leaders could agree on a constitutional matter when the experts could not achieve consensus, he said it was agreed in Dubai talks that if the committee hits snags on any point the matter would be referred to Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif.
PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif late Wednesday night said that only political will was needed to restore the deposed judges. He was against worrying about legal issues while rectifying an illegal action by President Pervez Musharraf.
However, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardar time and again emphasized the need for taking into consideration legal implications of the restoration of the deposed judges. The main source of legal implications is the decision by the coalition leaders in Dubai talks to retain the PCO judges that would raise the strength of the Supreme Court from 17 to 27, a change that needs an amendment in the constitution.
After the Dubai talks Nawaz said he agreed to retain the PCO judges on the insistence of Zardari. APP adds: Meanwhile, PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and President, Pakistan Muslim League-N, Shahbaz Sharif reached London on Thursday to finalise the restoration of deposed judges.
The two leaders landed within an hour of each other arrival by different flights from Pakistan. Shahbaz is accompanied by Federal Minister for Petroleum Khawaja Muhammad Asif while Rehman Malik, advisor to the PM on Interior, has come with Asif Zardari.
Talking to Geo News before leaving for London, Khwaja Asif denied any differences in the ruling coalition over the restoration of deposed judges except difference of opinion over the procedure. "The May-12 deadline will not be extended," he further said.