Mon. Jun 5th, 2023

Subvert the Doctrine of Necessity

By Saqib Ali Ilyas Shigre

Pakistan now presents a dismantled political structure. The political outfit set for the last year is disgusting and it seems that democracy is in a quite hurry to substitute with the third-world dictatorship. The PDM allies along with the state machinery, appear to be having had a shared agenda to punish the PTI for its transgressions. The state is showing eager to crack down against the PTI leadership and its workers.

Maryam Nawaz Sahreef, Vice President PMLN, repeatedly stated to punish and outlaw PTI by declaring the party “A Gang of Miscreants”. She also put serious allegations about the ex-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, sitting chief justice of the Supreme Court, and ex-ISI Chief General Fiaz Hameed by mentioning their names in the public crowd, why and what she narrated, everyone knows. One could hardly believe that merely based on self-eager, political vendetta and to oblige someone’s desire, the whole state machinery is being used against a party that has massive supporters and has the largest party at this time.

After the dissolution of Punjab and KPK Assemblies, the PTI leadership and its supporters faced a very harsh attitude from the Federal as well as caretakeraker governments in provinces.FIR was lodged against the senior membership, and many of them were put behind the bars, Pro-PTI journalists have also been arrested, banning various News Channels and news anchors, and political leaders to appear on the screen. Now a report was summoned by Honorable Lahore Hight Court where it is found that there are 143 registered FIRs against the PTI Chairman Imran Khan and now he is on protective bail.

Is PTI a militant gang? Let the people of Pakistan decide the fate of the party. As Muhtrama Benazir Bhutto once said democracy is the best revenge. After the removal of Mr, Nawaz Sharif from the premiership and till the PDM formed the government in federal and for a week in Punjab, The PLMN leadership particular, The vice President invariably and consistently clamoured the famous slogan ”VOTE KO IZZAT DO”.Now at least their supporters, expected the Chairman and Vice Chairman to stick to their narratives. But now they challenged their own narrative and playing tactics with the institution and Constitution to run away from the elections, which the whole nation witnessed.

After so much pressure and Honorable Supreme Court’s Order, the election Date in Punjab was fixed on 30th April and for KPK date was set to 28th May 2023. But on 23rd March 2023, the ECP revise the decisions and de-notify the current elections schedules in Punjab subsequently, Governor KPK also send the requisition to delay the elections in his Province, on 24th March. Now the ECP is Suggesting a new date i.e. 8th Oct 2023 for the elections.

It’s also reported that the civil and military leadership are agreed to hold elections simultaneously i.e. With Federal general elections.ECP in its press release stated that it’s the institutions, that suggested delaying the elections. But Article 105(3) of the constitution clearly mentioned that it is the responsibility of the governor to appoint a date not more than 90 days for holding the general elections of the Assembly.

The honorable Supreme Court has already ordered the ECP to announce the elections schedule, in its sou motu and constitutional petitions earlier. Now ECP is not only deviating from the constitution but also controverting against Hone Supreme Court Orders. The matter will again throw into the judiciary’s basket. Because in case of a delay in elections, what will be the constitutional status of the caretaker government after the expiry date of 90 days? There is no provision in the constitution, which empowers the government or any institution to grant an extension or extraordinary powers to a caretaker government. And this will also against the fundamental rights of the people of Punjab and KPK, making sixty-five percent of total Pakistan ruled by non-elected government, without political representation and assembly. In such cases, either the dissolved assemblies stand restored, or will elections be held on time? Supreme Court will clarify these constitutional lacunas.

The government seems to be delaying the elections until they make Imran khan disqualified or ban PTI. It is extremely worrying that the political power struggle has sharpened the clash of institutions, raising fears of the collapse of the system. Resorting to coercive force to bar or dismember PTI will not favor the country. Not only such intimidatory actions will weakened the democratic process in the country but they will be counterproductive as well. As we witnessed, in contrast to the strict actions against PTI, Imran khan has been able to catapult his popularity in the past few months. And his popularity was witnessed in all the by-elections that were held in 2022-23. While at the same time, the government is losing its support due to incompetency, and non-delivery particularly in the financial sector making them unpopular.

The country’s fate is now under hostage of political vendettas. The power struggle between the parties is not aiming to uplift the nation but for making rivalries out of the political arena which needs to stop. And now we must stand with the OLD-PLMN narrative “Vote Ko Izzat Do”. Let the people decide their fate. Now it’s time to stand with the constitution and to subvert the “Doctrine of Necessity”.

The contributor is a Law Student at Rawalpindi Law College., Blog:

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