Abdul Hafeez’s appointment as finance adviser challenged in PHC

PESHAWAR: Shahid Orakzai, who is known as ‘chronic petitioner’ has submitted another petition to Peshawar High Court (PHC). This time, he is seeking the disqualification newly appointed finance adviser to Prime Minister, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.

On this first day of its hearing, a two-judge bench comprising of Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Musarat Hilali has sought a reply from the federal government.

Orakzai argued his case himself before the bench. He said that Shaikh cannot present the budget in the national assembly as he is an adviser for whom no oath is specified in the constitution. “Since he cannot take the oath, so his isn’t in a position to present the budget in assembly,” Orakzai argued.

The petitioner has taken the plea that matter is not limited to a single person. As the national budget is the issue of national interest. The budget will be presented in the National Assembly in the month of June, next month.

Orakzai added said that national budget is the distribution of the annual income of nation among the federating units. He argued that in the parliamentary form of government, the presentation of the budget in the national assembly is the responsibility of federal Finance Minister.

In this regard, he furthered, it is mandatory that the finance minister takes an oath of his office before the president of Pakistan. Since Abdul Hafiz Sheikh has not taken any such oath nor any oath taking is laid down in the constitution for the advisor to Prime Minister. Therefore, he cannot discharge the obligations of the finance minister.

The bench after hearing the arguments of the Shahid Orakzai summoned written reply from Attorney General of Pakistan till next hearing of the case on May, 21.

Abdul Hafiz Shaikh was appointed as the financial adviser after the removal of Asad Umar. Since no regular Finance Minister has been appointed; Shaikh has been given the responsibility of running the affairs of the finance ministry.