Home Latest News PDM Preps to Challenge Controversial Bills before Supreme Court

PDM Preps to Challenge Controversial Bills before Supreme Court

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo. Screengrab from YouTube

Opposition alliance says it will finalize strategy to counter government legislation in Nov. 23 meeting

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of several opposition parties, on Monday announced that it is developing a strategy to challenge before the Supreme Court several controversial bills that the PTI-led government hopes to get passed in a joint session of Parliament.

In a statement issued after a meeting of the multi-party alliance, it said that former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUIF) leader Kamran Murtaza, as well as deputy secretary general of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Attaullah Tarar had been directed to consult legal experts over bills such as the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in general elections; granting internet voting rights to overseas Pakistanis; and amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance.

According to the statement, the PDM’s steering committee would meet on Nov. 22 to finalize the recommendations of Murtaza and Tarar. It said that these would be then be presented to all respective party heads for final approval in a meeting scheduled for Nov. 23.

“The PDM does not approve of this kind of interference from the state institutions and considers such an act a violation of the Constitution,” it said in reference to reports that the security establishment was “forcing” government allies to support it in Parliament. It reiterated warnings to state institutions to remain within their constitutional limits and not “test the patience of the people.”

Presided over by PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the meeting was also attended by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and PMLN President Shahbaz Sharif via video link. Qaumi Watan Party chief Aftab Sherpao, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party President Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Balochistan National Party head Sardar Akhtar Mengal were also in attendance.

The PDM also vowed to continue its nationwide protest movement against rampant inflation, adding that the Nov. 23 meeting would also decide on the alliance’s planned long march on Islamabad.

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