Article 89 of the constitution of Pakistan gives the government power to issue ordinances. This power is available only when the National Assembly is not in session. An ordinance so promulgated must be laid before the Parliament, or would expire after four months, unless approved by the Parliament within this period. The power to issue ordinances is supposed to enable the government to tide-over urgent and pressing business in difficult circumstances but is subject to extensive abuse. The governments in Islamabad usually waits for the National Assembly to adjourn to be able to issue ordinances. The ordinances not approved within four months are usually re-issued many a times with only cosmetic changes. This tendency of abuse of the power to issue ordinances enables the executive to ignore the legislature and act in an arbitrary manner. The system of checks and balances gets fatally weakened by this. The power to issue ordinances, thus, should be abolished without delay. In many democratic countries like France and the United States, the executive does not have the power to issue the ordinances. -ASAF ALI SHAH, Lahore, December 23.