It is the Constitution of Pakistan which gives PM and his cabinet ministers powers within confines of their defined roles and also legal authority to make constitutional appointments including choice of head of our armed forces. However it is the Supreme Court which interprets the Constitution. The Five Member SC Bench has disqualified Nawaz Sharif to be an MNA because he possessed a valid Iqama and a designated post in a firm registered in Dubai. The matter should rest there. As for allegations of corruption leveled against NS and others, the SC referred the matter to NAB Court which will adjudicate on their validity or otherwise.
In a Democracy the legal authority is derived from Constitution and those elected do not have unbridled powers but are accountable for all acts done and decisions taken on basis of their discretionary powers. The same limits are placed on every constitutional public office holder and all other paid civil or uniformed servants of the state. For those who have any doubts, should study recent events in Australia where Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and six other parliamentarians were disqualified by High Court in a petition, where they were required to interpret article 44 of Constitution, which debars foreign nationals to be members of parliament. The Deputy PM, who was born in Australia, automatically became a citizen of New Zealand because his father was born there, although he never applied for NZ passport. His disqualification has created a political crisis because the ruling party had a one member majority in a house of 149. Similar was reason for disqualification of Senator Fiona whose father was born in UK and she acquired that citizenship through descent and five more parliamentarians who were de-seated. None of them have made any issue out of this and have decided to revoke their automatically acquired citizenship and contest bye elections.
Individuals do not matter in a democracy. It is time our elected political elite must submit to supremacy of constitution and majesty of laws.
MALIK TARIQ ALI,
Lahore, October 31.