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PM sends second summary to president for Punjab governor’s removal

Governor Cheema terms Hamza's oath illegal; official residence 'captured' for oath-taking ceremony

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has once again sent a summary for the removal of the governor of Punjab to President Dr. Arif Alvi, according to media reports.

According to the law, 10 days after the summary is sent, the Punjab governor will automatically be dismissed, following which the premier will send advice to the president for the appointment of a new governor. Punjab Governor Omar Sarfaraz Cheema has 10 days left and will be removed from office after this time period is over. However, PM Shehbaz had previously also sent a summary to the president and Sunday marked 14 days since it was sent and not implemented.

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Punjab was embroiled in a legal and constitutional crisis last month after the federal government initially said Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema had been removed on the order of the premier but the former challenged the authority of the latter to sack him.

On April 17, hours after the governor had postponed the swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected chief minister of Punjab, Hamza Shahbaz, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb had announced that he had been removed. However, Cheema told a news conference that only the president, and not the prime minister, had the authority to remove him. Until the president notified the order of his removal, Cheema added, he would continue to hold office.

Cheema was appointed the governor last month after the former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government removed Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar. President Alvi had issued orders for the removal of the ex-Punjab governor at 4 am, following the then-premier Imran Khan’s request immediately.

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Meanwhile, Governor Cheema has said that his official residence was “captured” on Saturday to hold the oath-taking ceremony of Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and termed Usman Buzdar’s resignation as chief executive of the province as “illegal”. “The oath-taking of Hamza Shehbaz was illegal after I rejected the resignation of Usman Buzdar,” said the governor while addressing a press conference in Lahore on Sunday.

He stated that former CM Buzdar’s resignation could not be accepted by the ex-governor as it was addressed to the prime minister instead of the governor. Governor Cheema on Saturday dismissed former chief minister Buzdar’s resignation -hours before PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz was to be sworn in as the new CM – after which the former chief executive of the province immediately summoned a cabinet meeting at the Punjab Assembly. Governor Cheema wrote a letter to Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and stated that Buzdar’s resignation was dismissed on the basis of certain constitutional loopholes.



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