PML-N’s Baligh Ur Rehman finally appointed Punjab governor

PML-N leader Baligh Ur Rehman

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi Monday appointed PML-N’s Baligh Ur Rehman as Punjab governor after weeks of uncertainty over the matter and a power tussle between the President House and the PM Office.

In a statement on Twitter, President Alvi confirmed the approval was given on the advice of the prime minister under Article 101 (1) of the Constitution.

On April 17, PM Shahbaz Sharif had moved a summary to the president to remove then governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema from the post. Hours after the then governor had postponed the swearing-in ceremony of Hamza Shahbaz, PML-N leader Marriyum Aurangzeb had announced that the governor had been removed.

Rejecting the PML-N’s claim, Cheema said in a press conference that only the president has the authority to remove him.

On May 2, PM Shehbaz Sharif had moved another summary to President Arif Alvi advising him removal of then Punjab Governor Umar Sarfaraz Cheema. And on May 8, the federal government had nominated Baligh Ur-Rehman as the new governor of Punjab and a summary to replace the then governor Omar Sarfaraz Cheema was sent to President Arif Alvi.

However, the president on May 9, had strongly rejected PM Shehbaz Sharif’s advice to remove then governor Punjab Omar Sarfaraz Cheema from office.

According to a statement from the President’s Secretariat, President Alvi conveyed to the prime minister that the Punjab governor cannot be removed without his approval.

“Referring to clause 3 of Article 101 of the Constitution, he stated that ‘the Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President’,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, in the statement, the president said that the then governor could not be removed as there was neither any allegation of misconduct nor conviction by any court of law or of any act committed by him contrary to the Constitution of Pakistan.

“It [is my] duty as Head of the State to represent the unity of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in terms of Article 41 of the Constitution,” the president told the premier.

Giving another reason for rejecting the prime minister’s advice, he stated that he was convinced that the removal of the governor would be “unfair and against the norms of justice.”

On May 10, Omar Sarfaraz Cheema had been denotified as Punjab governor hours after President Alvi’s rejection to approve PM Shehbaz Sharif’s summary to remove Omar Cheema from his post.

“In terms of Article 101 and proviso to Article 48 (1) of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, read with serial No. 2D of schedule V-B to the Rules of Business, 1973 and the Prime Minister’s advice (s) rendered on 17-04-2022 and 01-05-2022 for removal of Governor of Punjab, Mr Omer Sarfaraz Cheema ceases to hold the office of the Governor Punjab, with immediate effect,” the notification said.

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