Pakistan

Cheema refuses to exit despite removal as Punjab governor


Sacked Punjab governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema has refused to step down from the office despite his removal by the federal government through a notification by the Cabinet Division a day earlier.

Cheema said the summary for his removal sent by the premier to the president was rejected due to "exceptional circumstances" but the Cabinet Division still issued the notification for his removal. He termed the notification unconstitutional and said that he would consult constitutional experts and announce his strategy.

صدر پاکستان کے غیر معمولی حالات کے پیش نظرسمری مسترد کرنے کے باوجود کیبینٹ ڈویثرن کا غیر آئینی نوٹیفیکن جاری کیا جسے میں مسترد کرتا ہوں

ائینی ماہرین سے مشاورت جاری ہے جلد آئندہ کا لائحہ عمل کا اعلان کروں گا ۔ انشاءاللہ pic.twitter.com/8euMPgBh3L
— Omar Sarfraz Cheema (@OmarCheemaPTI) May 10, 2022

Cheema, who had replaced Chaudhry Sarwar days before the ouster of Imran Khan from the office of the prime minister, is clinging to the post and efforts to remove him, especially after he refused to administer the oath to Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, were scuttled by the president.

Read Punjab governor to discuss ‘constitutional crisis’ with president, army chief

The federal government had sent a summary for the removal of governor Cheema to the president on April 17. As per the Constitution, the summary would take effect automatically without any decision from the president after the stipulated time period. After the completion of the constitutional period of the summary, the Cabinet Division issued the notification.

According to the notification, Omar Cheema’s term as governor expires today.

“In terms of Article 101 and Proviso to Article 48 (1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, read with serial No 2D of Schedule V-B to the Rules of Business, 1973 and the Prime Minister's advice(s) rendered on 17-04-2022 and 01-05-2022 for removal of governor of Punjab, Omer Sarfraz Cheema ceases to hold the office of the Punjab governor, with immediate effect,” according to the Cabinet Division notification.

'Suo moto notice demanded'

PTI Chairman Imran Khan took an exception to the removal of his confidante and urged the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take suo moto notice of the “brazen violation” of the Constitution by the federal government.

Imran accused the government of fomenting a “constitutional crisis” in Punjab through its action. He added that a “puppet” chief minister was imposed on the province through a “ghost election” and now the governor was being removed in violation of all the constitutional norms.

He also accused the federal government of contempt of the office of the president of Pakistan by refusing to pay heed to him over the issue. Imran urged the courts to take notice of the “brazen unconstitutional” acts in Punjab instead of watching as “silent spectators”.


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