After much ado, President Arif Alvi has approved Balighur Rehman’s appointment as the Punjab Governor, ending a weeks-long stalemate over Head of State of the province.
In a statement issued on Twitter he said that this approval was given on the advice of the prime minister, under Article 101 (1) of the Constitution.
The surprising move comes after the president had twice ignored summary notices sent by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif requesting the approval of Balighur Rehman for the role of Punjab Governor.
President Alvi also issued a statement ‘strongly rejecting’ the advice of the prime minister regarding the removal of former governor of Punjab Omar Sarfaraz Cheema.
Currently, the Supreme Court of Pakistan is hearing a case in order to determine whether the President has the power to reject and overrule the prime minister’s advice regarding the removal and appointment of governors.
However, in light of the statement given by the president, a hearing might no longer be necessary.
Balighur Rehman, who has previously served as a federal education minister, was elected to the National Assembly in 2013. He will be replacing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Omar Cheema as the governor.
Previously, Omar Cheema was removed as Punjab Governor on May 9, after he had repeatedly refused to administer the oath to the Chief Minister elect Hamza Shahbaz. He had been appointed as governor on April 3, just days before the ouster of former prime minister Imran Khan.
Cheema has challenged his removal in the Islamabad High Court, the next hearing of which is on May 31.