Friday Jan 27, 2023
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday challenged the appointment of Mohsin Naqvi as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab.
The petition has been moved by PTI General Secretary Asad Umar, which prayed to the apex court to stop Naqvi from working as the interim chief minister.
In the petition, the PTI has also challenged the appointments of Raja Riaz as the Opposition leader in the National Assembly, and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
PTI has made the federal government, National Assembly Speaker Raja Parvez Ashraf, Leader of the Opposition Raja Riaz, the governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ECP, and Punjab caretaker CM Mohsin Naqvi respondents in the case.
The petition states that Naqvi unfortunately has no political, administrative, and legal experience in ensuring the rule of law, the working of governments, bureaucracy, the requirements of law and/ or the Constitution.
"It is also stated that the caretaker chief minister ought to possess certain but necessary intellectual and relative experience as well as characteristics which is to ensure that the appointed caretaker chief minister, is better equipped with expertise required for the office of the chief minister. This is unfortunately not the case herein. Equal or better-suited candidates were available and have not been considered consciously. An individual without any experience of political, constitutional, bureaucratic set-ups has been selected/appointed for this position for reasons which are not available nor discernible. The 'decision' has not been made available, as none is present in writing, though a conclusion thereof has been communicated vide notification No F.2(5)/2023-Cord- dated 22.01.2023 ('Impugned Notification') by the Respondent Commission. The same is patently unlawful and smacks of sheer arbitrariness."
"How the issue of his suitability has been decided so as to result in an 'unanimous' communication of the respondent commission appointing him as the caretaker chief minister, is not manifest and in negation to the mandate of the Constitution."
The PTI said that "there is not an iota of record which would justify" Naqvi's appointment as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab.
Meanwhile, Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has also filed a separate plea challenging CM Naqvi's appointment.
Last week, amid controversies and disagreements among Punjab’s political stakeholders, Mohsin Raza Naqvi took oath as the interim chief minister at the Governor House in Lahore.
Punjab Governor Baligh Ur Rehman administered oath to interim chief minister Naqvi.
Naqvi — a nominee of the opposition — was appointed as the caretaker CM by the ECP. The commission's decision was categorically rejected by the PTI, which declared “Naqvi” as a “controversial” personality.
The electoral authority's decision came after the government and the opposition failed to reach a consensus on finalising the name of a caretaker chief executive — the move appeared to kick off a new round of controversy in the country.
In a statement, the ECP said that the meeting, chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, made the consensus decision to appoint Naqvi as the caretaker for Punjab CM.
The Lahore-born Naqvi is a journalist by profession. He got his higher education in the USA and was associated with the American TV channel CNN during his stay in Miami. After returning to Pakistan, he served as the regional head of CNN.
According to a report, Benazir Bhutto, who Mohsin had interviewed before, last contacted him before her assassination.
Mohsin founded the local media City News Network in 2009 at the age of 30 and now owns six news channels and a newspaper. He is also widely known in political circles and has strong relations with leading political figures.