President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday rejected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s proposal to remove Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema from office.
“The president reiterated his determination to uphold the principles of the Constitution of Pakistan in these difficult times and strongly rejected the prime minister’s proposal to remove the Punjab governor,” a press release from the Presidency said.
In the first summary, PM Shehbaz sent a letter to the president on April 17, advising PPP nominee Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood as governor of the Punjab. However, when President Alvi returned that summary after holding 15 days without a decision, the prime minister reaffirmed the advice on Saturday asking for Cheema’s removal, as well as the appointment of a reliable PML-N from Bahawalpur, Balighur Rehman.
Alvi told the prime minister that the governor could not be removed without his consent and that he would continue to “hold office during the presidential pleasure” in accordance with Article 3 of Article 101 of the Constitution.
“He has written that the current governor cannot be removed as there is no charge of misconduct or conviction of any court of law or any act committed by him in violation of the Constitution of Pakistan,” the newspaper reported.
President Alvi emphasized the role of the governor’s constitution and said he had sent a report on the process of electing a prime minister to the Punjab Assembly that had raised questions about the legitimacy of Usman Buzdar’s resignation as provincial governor and a change in MPA loyalty.
“The President emphasized the need for the incumbent governor to continue to promote and promote a healthy and clean democratic system where members are not coerced or bribed to bring about illegal change and Article 63A of the Constitution specifically encourages such activities;”
Earlier in the day, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the president was obliged to follow the prime minister’s advice and any deviation from it would be unconstitutional.
He said the president was a symbolic office in parliamentary democracy and did not have “veto power”. “The presidency is not the secretary of PTI, do not be a slave to Imran Khan [and] follow the Constitution, ”Sanaullah said.