Ishaq Dar's Appointment As Deputy Prime Minister Challenged

PTI leader Sher Afzal Marwat files petition in Islamabad High Court, argues that the office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not known to Pakistan's Constitution and there no law allows the Cabinet Division to issue a notification for such an appointment

Ishaq Dar's Appointment As Deputy Prime Minister Challenged

Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar's appointment as the country's deputy prime minister has been challenged in court.

A petition in this regard was filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Sher Afzal Marwat in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Filed by Marwat's counsel, Rias Hanif Rahi, the petition states that Dar's appointment as the deputy prime minister was simply to oblige a blue-eyed person for mala fide intentions.

The petition further argued that Dar already holds a cabinet position with the foreign affairs portfolio and that being assigned the deputy prime minister's office is akin to awarding a second position to the same official. 

"That actually, the second office to the same person has been given due to personal reasons under extraneous considerations for collateral aims at the cost of public exchequer for which every citizen is contributory as taxpayer including the petitioner," the petition maintained. 

It added that a person with an illegal appointment is not entitled to enjoy the state's perks and privileges.

The petition further contended that while the office of the prime minister is a constitutional office, the office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not known to Pakistan's Constitution, and no other sub-constitutional law allows the Cabinet Division to issue such notification in an arbitrary manner or by following a wrong precedent.

"That respondent no.4 (Dar) has started conducting meetings and taking important decisions which are Ex-facie Coram-non-judice and give rise to recurring cause of action."

Marwat further contended that individuals who have been illegally appointed and that too, without merit, merely based on political considerations, "can't bring any productive development in national life and offices can only be secured by the enforcement of law."

The petitioner requested the high court to declare the notification of appointment without lawful authority and of no legal effect by setting it aside.

Marwat listed the government of Pakistan, Cabinet Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar as respondents in the petition, which he had moved under Article 199 of the Constitution.

The writer is an Islamabad based journalist working with The Friday Times. He tweets @SabihUlHussnain