Prime Minister (PM), Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on the floor of the National Assembly (NA), emphasised the need for debate on institutional in-fighting ,saying that confrontation among institutions would not serve the country and limits of every institution would have to be defined and debated upon.
This is a most exigent issue that the PM brought up, and one on which constructive civilised debate was long needed. Since the panama decision, the line of separation of powers has become increasingly blurred. From increased judicial activism in executive matters, with the CJP taking suo moto notice of hospital conditions, to worrying contempt of court cases against politicians, the collusion of institutions is becoming noticeable, with the parliament taking a constant hit.
The separation of powers has been a backbreaking issue in our country, and its violation has always been a tragedy. Thus, it is important as a democratic state that we encourage healthy debates if we feel that an institution is overstepping its bounds. The debate should be non-confrontational and non-partisan, since surely every one of us is aiming for a democratic Pakistan.
One pertinent step is to strengthen the parliament, and discourage institutions on constantly confronting each other. Constant and unfair crackdown on parliament will result in damage to the sanctity of it. It is an indisputable fact that a proper democratic parliament had only been in Pakistan since 2008, and is still a new institution; the ills of democracy can only be cured by more democracy. Through repeated hits on the sanctity of parliament and allowing other institutions entire accountability of the parliament, we are not letting the institution of our democratically elected representatives grow.
However, the PM must realise that it is a give and take relationship. Parliament should also show responsibility on its side, for its part of the bargain. Responsible measures include not passing frivolous tailor-made for one person, which prove to just make a point, as well as political parties being diligent and not letting petty politics affect who they elevate- some misguided decisions which come to mind is the consideration of absconded Ishaq Dar, and Pir Sialvi as senators. Opposition leader Khurshid Shah, and PTI’s Shah Mahmood Quereshi were also pertinent in their points, that while supremacy of the Parliament is good for democracy, then the parliament should also work for the democratic progress of the country, and avoid passing irresponsible, partisan legislation, like the amendment to allow disqualified politicians as party leaders.