Constitutional blunders

Constitutional supremacy is one of the very important essential factors for a democratic state and proper obedience of its provisions is necessary for the smooth functioning of organs, which were contravened by Imran Khan and his administrators in government.

I am not giving an opinion on PTI’s performance during its tenure, but I am highlighting some mistakes which have left the country in a constitutional crisis. As the former PM usually says, “I will play till the last ball.”

Democracy is the best form of government in any state which considers the constitution supreme in the country, but in Pakistan, the constitution is violated often. Imran Khan did the same while he was in power and even after being de-seated.

When the vote of no-confidence was moved in the Assembly, the speaker and deputy speaker of his party were to be impartial. Qasim Suri, in the name of a ‘foreign conspiracy’ and on the grounds of Article 5(1), which is about loyalty to the state, over-ruled the ruling.

If PTI used Article 5(1) then why didn’t it focus on the second clause of the same Article [5(2)], which is about obedience to the constitution? After the over ruling of the motion, the President on the advice of Prime Minister Imran Khan dissolved the assembly.

Is it constitutional to dissolve the assembly instead of voting while there is a motion of the vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister? No, it is not as per Article 95 of the constitution of Pakistan; there must be voting on the vote of no-confidence, not before three days and no later than seven days.

Moreover, another constitutional question arose by the resignation of Usman Buzdar as chief minister of Punjab. He wrote his resignation to the Prime Minister however, constitutionally under Article 130(8), he had to write his resignation to the Governor and recently, the Governor of Punjab, who belonged to PTI, claimed that the resignation was invalid. So, didn’t he know at that time? He essentially created another constitutional crisis only to hinder Shehbaz Sharif’s government.

Similarly, even after Hamza Shehbaz got a majority of votes in the provincial assembly of Punjab, Governor Omer Sarfraz Cheema didn’t take his oath as the Chief Minister of Punjab, even after the direction of Lahore High Court, which can be considered a misuse of his immunities.

On the other hand, when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif advised the President to de-notify Omer Sarfraz Cheema, he rejected the advice on the ground of Article 101(3) which says that, “the governor shall hold office due to the pleasure of the president”. So, what about Article 48, which says that the, “President has to act in accordance with the advice of the cabinet or the prime minister”. Apart from Article 101(3), the President is bound to obey the advice of the Prime Minister as per schedule V-B of the rules of business, 1973.

We all know Pakistan is not politically stable and for other issues like economic matters, political stability is very significant. We can only hope that Pakistan becomes a democratic state in a proper manner and that these constitutional crises must be prevented.

The writer is a student of law.

Democracy is the best form of government in any state which considers the constitution supreme.

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