LAHORE – The Constitution is silent over the question that who will be responsible for the affairs of the country in the absence of a prime minister, observers say.

There is much-talk about who is running Pakistan after Tuesday 3pm when Yousuf Raza Gilani lost his premiership due to disobedience of the Supreme Court’s orders.

A constitutional expert Khalid Ranjha told The Nation that there was no constitutional binding that there should be a head of state in absence of a prime minister as in case of Gilani. In absence of the prime minister, President Asif Ali Zardari would be responsible regarding the affairs of the country, he added.

“The president can issue appropriate orders, if needed, in any important issue of national level,” Ranjha said.

However, the president couldn’t issue orders where the advice of the prime minister involved, Ranjha opined.

Another legal expert Salman Akram Raja endorsed the opinion that the Constitution was silent over the present vacuum. In Gen Ziaul Haq’s era, there were constitutional provisions which bound the President of Pakistan to appoint a new prime minister, if the earlier one was sacked, disqualified or he himself resigned from the office, Raja added. “Definitely, now there is complete silence in the Constitution regarding the absence of the prime minister. The Parliament would have to make another amendment in the Constitution in order to fill the space,” Raja concluded.

                           –MIAN DAWOOD