President Alvi tells PM Shehbaz to reconsider advice regarding Cheema’s removal

Alvi says present circumstances demand incumbent governor should continue to hold position

President Arif Alvi has called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to review his advice regarding the appointment of a new Punjab governor, upholding that Omar Cheema, still holds the office and “there is no occasion to propose a new appointment”.

According to the President’s Secretariat, Alvi referenced an earlier communication to the prime minister, from May 9, in which he had rejected the PM’s advice for removing Cheema from office. The president had stated quoting Article 101 (2) of the Constitution that “the Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.”

However, Cheema was removed just hours later. A notification of the Cabinet Division what was issued late at night stated that he no longer held office due to the advice of the prime minister sent to the president on two occasions.

The president restated his earlier stance that “the present circumstances demanded that the incumbent governor should continue to hold that position.”

The president also referenced Cheema’s letter which he had written to him on April 23, and a report which he sent on May 4. Both documents highlighted the shift in loyalties during the Punjab chief minister election on April 16. Hamza Shehbaz managed to gain majority votes with 25 dissident Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmakers supporting him. The documents alleged that Hamza had knocked up “the majority via illegal means” which had led to “grave governance issues in the province, as well as violated Article 63-A of the Constitution”.