Premier Sharif, President Alvi trade barbs in open letters

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has written a reply letter to President Dr Arif Alvi, terming the latter’s written correspondence regarding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) a “one-sided affair” and “the PTI’s press release”.

The premier wrote the letter — which contains five pages and seven points — in response to the letter written by President Alvi on March 24.

In the reply letter, the premier said had been forced to say that Alvi’s letter appeared to be a press release of the PTI, one-sided and reflected the anti-government sentiments.

“Your letter doesn’t reflect the constitutional position of the president and that you have been doing this continuously. On April 3, 2022, you followed the unconstitutional instructions of the former prime minister by dissolving the National Assembly. Your order was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on April 7,” Shehbaz conveyed to Alvi.

The prime minister further stated even in the matter of his oath as the prime minister under Clause 5 of the Article 91, the president had failed to fulfill his constitutional duty and that on many occasions the president worked actively against the “elected constitutional government”.

“Having tried my best to establish a relationship, I am compelled to respond to you by the tone you used in your letter,” Shehbaz further said.

President Alvi on Friday had penned a letter to PM Shehbaz, urging him to ensure the implementation of the Supreme Court’s orders in relation to the general elections in both provinces.

The move comes after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had postponed the upcoming elections in Punjab — initially scheduled to be held on April 30 — citing security reasons as the major cause behind the change in plans.

In the letter shared by PM Office Media Wing in a press release, the prime minister further addressing the president said that it was a matter of record that previously, he (the president) had acted in a similar patrician manner on several occasions in violation of his oath.

These occasions included i.e. letter for dissolution of the National Assembly on April 3, 2022 on the illegal instructions of the former prime minister (Imran Khan) which was declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on April 7 last year and upon his elections as the prime minister, the president failed to discharge his constitutional duty in terms of clause (5) of Article 91.

“Despite the foregoing and several other instances, where you actively worked towards undermining a constitutionally elected government. I have made all-out efforts to maintain good working relationship with you. However, the contents of your letter, its tone and language has compelled me to respond to it,” the prime minister further added.

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