On Sunday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif criticized President Dr Arif Alvi for his letter on the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elections, which he believed resembled a press release from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
According to PM Shehbaz, the letter was “blatantly partisan” and supported PTI’s “one-sided and anti-government” perspectives. Earlier, on Friday, the president had written a letter to PM Shehbaz, urging him to ensure the implementation of the Supreme Court’s orders regarding the upcoming general elections in both provinces.
This request followed the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to postpone the Punjab elections, originally set for April 30, due to security concerns. The president emphasized in his letter that all relevant executive authorities should avoid human rights violations and help the ECP hold elections in compliance with the apex court’s order to prevent further complications, including contempt of court. However, PM Shehbaz accused the president of expressing anti-government views and not fulfilling his constitutional role in his letter.
PM Shehbaz criticized the president for following the unconstitutional instructions of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, resulting in the dissolution of the National Assembly, which was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on April 7. He also accused President Alvi of failing to fulfill his constitutional duty to administer the oath to him as the prime minister under Article 91, clause 5.
Despite attempts to maintain a good working relationship with the president, PM Shehbaz responded to his letter due to its contents, tone, and language. He further stated that due to the president’s party allegiance, he failed to acknowledge the PTI’s violations of laws, court orders, law enforcement agencies, public property, creating chaos, and civil unrest, and leading the country toward economic default and civil war.
The Prime Minister also highlighted to the President the mistreatment of opposition lawmakers by the PTI government, particularly the narcotics case against Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, who was then an MNA, and NAB cases against PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz.
He pointed out that the Constitution does not grant the President any powers or functions to seek explanations from the Government or Prime Minister. However, he responded to the President’s letter to record his partisan attitude and actions and set the record straight for their government.
The Prime Minister also criticized the President for setting election dates at the PTI’s behest and noted that the apex court had overturned the President’s decision to set an election date for the KP Assembly. He further stated that the President did not raise any concerns about the malicious dissolution of the provincial assemblies of the two provinces, done solely to satisfy the ego of the Chairman, PTI.
The prime minister pointed out that dissolving the assemblies was a strategy to pressure the governments in order to dissolve the National Assembly and two other provincial assemblies. He also mentioned that the president did not take into account the impact of holding elections in two provinces before the general elections to the National Assembly, which may affect the ability to conduct free and fair elections.
The prime minister emphasized that the decision to hold elections is in the hands of the electoral body, and it is their responsibility to evaluate whether the circumstances allow for holding the elections. In conclusion, the prime minister reiterated the government’s commitment to protect and defend the Constitution and safeguard the fundamental rights of the people of Pakistan.
He said that the government is also determined to ensure that no one is allowed to violate the law, create unrest and attempt to cause irreparable harm to the state of Pakistan.
“I want to further assure you that our Government will thwart any efforts to undermine the constitutionally elected government,” he added.