ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC), the country’s top security body made up of civil and military leaders, to discuss the “ongoing situation” as the government battles the Supreme Court over the election result.
According to sources, the NSC will meet tomorrow at the PM House to discuss the current situation in the country and make decisions on the government’s next course of action.
Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), heads of armed forces, federal ministers for defense, finance, and information, and senior military leadership will attend the meeting according to sources.
The meeting is being held as the country faces serious economic and political crises, which have been exacerbated by the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) petition challenging the delay in elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
The ruling coalition has vehemently opposed the verdict, which it considers to be a 3-2 minority verdict that should not be implemented.
The ruling alliance is at odds with the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif described the Supreme Court proceedings as “horrible” and stated that the National Assembly would vote today to reject the verdict.
“What happened in the Supreme Court proceedings, history has never witnessed such horrible scenes; it has been decided that the National Assembly will pass a resolution to reject the decision,” Shehbaz said during a consultative meeting of government allies’ senior leadership.
JUI-F Chief Fazlur Rehman, Dr. Farooq Sattar, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Mian Iftikhar Hussain of ANP, top leadership of other coalition partners including PMLN Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, and other cabinet members attended the meeting.
The meeting discussed various options for effectively responding to the verdict, with Maryam Nawaz taking a tougher stance, saying the government should do more than simply reject the decision.
The prime minister stated that the National Assembly had been debating what game was being played with the Constitution and democracy and that it had passed a resolution prior to the verdict and would do so again on Thursday.
He claimed that the Supreme Court did not discuss the verdict dismissing the petition by a four-to-three majority, a bench shakeup, or requests for the formation of a full court bench.
He added that political parties pleaded on multiple occasions to become parties to the case, but their requests were also denied and that a judge who previously regretted being on the bench joined the hearing.
According to the decision, the government must make funds available for elections by April 10, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) must notify the court by April 11, and a final report on security measures must be submitted to the chief election commissioner by April 17.
“We are also discussing this issue,” he added.