Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been warned by a court after his counsel sought repeated adjournments in submitting a reply on a plea challenging the honourary ‘knighthood’ title given to him by Queen Elizabeth II. The title given to Sharif in 1997 has been challenged in the Lahore High Court. Petitioner Javed Iqbal Jaffery has pleaded the court to order the premier to return the title as it is a “mark of slavery” and against the “national interest”.
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Federal government counsel Nadeem Anjum told the court yesterday that the government needed more time to reply on the petition. Irked by repeated adjournment requests by the government counsel, Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh asked the government counsel to persuade the prime minister to submit his reply before the court passes any strict order.
He directed the counsel to come up with Sharif’s reply on the questions raised in the petition. The court adjourned the hearing till December 19.
Petitioner Jaffery said Sharif’s decision to receive the title was a violation of the Pakistan Constitution Articles 2-A and 249 as he should have taken the Parliament and the Cabinet into confidence before agreeing to receive the title.
“Sharif has become Prime Minister again and the LHC has been requested to order him return the ‘Sir’ title to the British Queen as he had lowered dignity of Pakistanis by accepting a title of slavery,” Jaffery said.