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Speakers Ruling is a Political Injustice

(modified version is published in the Daily Times, 22 June, 03 and Frontier Post 23 June,03, the Nation 30 June, 03)

Nadeem Yousaf

The ruling of the speaker of the National Assemble Mr. Shaudhry Amir Hussain regarding Legal Framework Order (LFO) is completely out of context and misinterpretation of the Supreme Court Order, which legitimized Musharraf’ coup against the civil government. The Supreme Court in the Syed Zafar Ali Shah’s case permitted Musharraf’s pre-elections regime to make amendments, which should not spoil the sprit of the 1973 constitution. The fact is Musharraf’s some of the amendments change the basic fiber of the constitution.. It is no need to mention that the Supreme Court gave him three years to hold elections and restore democracy; and, the 2002 elections were result of that order. The essence of the order was that he would restore the constitution and civil rule after completing the self-assumed assignment of correcting the country’s political culture. In addition, the Supreme Court accepted the unconstitutional regime of Musharraf following the doctrine of necessity, which automatically dies when the parliament came into existence. This is a very obvious fact that Musharraf is still holding the rein of the government and democracy is not restored in a proper manner. If it had restored; Pakistan’s membership in the Common Wealth would have restored, as well. 

 Moreover, the speaker must have remembered that the elected members of the National Assemble confirmed from the outgoing speaker were they taking oath under the 1973 constitution or not; and, the then speaker confirmed that they were taking oath under the same constitution, which existed before 12 October 1999.  The author believes that the Speaker is not appreciating the consequences of accepting LFO as a part of the constitution without following constitutional procedure of amending the constitution. If he says that the President has the right of amending the constitution, so Musharraf can still introduce amendments that favor him since he claims that he is a legitimate president of the country.

 

 Timings of the ruling of the speaker were also inappropriate. He knew that opposition was boycotting the sessions because of LFO. The purpose of boycott is to raise strongly ones voice and draw attention of the powerful group to resolve the issue; instead of taking opposition’s boycott seriously, it seems, he took it as an opportunity to give his ruling on the crucial issue. It is very likely that this ruling will neither consolidate the government nor improves the current political situation; rather there are more probabilities that it aggravates the political tension.

 

 The ruling of the Speaker is, in fact, a political injustice to the nation because people are ultimately stakeholders whatever happens at the political scene. People are certainly watching how justly this issue is handled. We all must remember that political justice only prevails when rules of the game are followed. Political unjust decisions hampers systems of legal justice and social justice. After 56 years of Independence, we must appreciate that ignoring or tempering constitution increases political injustice, which in returns brings chaos in the system and not stability – this is what is the lesson of the history.  

 

17 June, 2003

 

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