It comes as a great surprise that Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) wants to bring some progressive changes in the constitution of Pakistan. But at the same time, it is disappointing to note that such move is intended because some articles of the constitution have hurt the leader of the party, resulting in his ousting from the office of the Prime Minister.
To achieve this PML-N is working hard to woo Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to bring the intended changes to the highest document. It is for this reason that despite PPP bashing the leadership of PML-N no one from Nawaz’s party is showing any reaction to it – which must be a hard thing to do considering the daily barbs that PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari shoots at Nawaz Sharif” Instead, the ruling party has admitted that it is in contact with the PPP over “certain constitutional matters”.
There are no other constitutional issues that PML (N) wants to discuss but the removal of the controversial articles 62 and 63 that forced Nawaz Sharif to evacuate the office of Prime Minister. The ruling party needs two third majorities of both the houses of the Parliament if it seeks to bring any change in the constitution.
On the other hand, PPP has made it clear that it will help the ruling party in repealing all articles inserted in the Constitution during dictatorial regimes. However, the leaders of PPP have – rightly – maintained that they will not assist the government in any person-specific change to the constitution; such as those designed to ease or erase the power of the Supreme Court verdict disqualifying Nawaz Sharif.
The PPP has taken a principled stance as far as amendments to the constitution are concerned. However, at the same time, it is the most appropriate opportunity for all the parties to capitalise on the government proposal and make all demands that will help in strengthening the democratic culture in the country.
This warrants for a much more detailed and in-depth review of the constitution, one that systematically evaluates all instances where unnecessary and undermining changes were made. This does not mean simply doing away with the all the changes made by dictators, nor does it mean only changing what is necessary at the moment.
Reformation of the constitution is an important task, and while enthusiasm for it is encouraging, the reasons for doing it seem less so.