Tag Archives: Constitution of Pakistan

Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif Vows to Protect the Honor of Pakistan Army

By Akhtar Malik : 8 Apr 2014

This is neither a threat to democracy nor a forewarning of any impending martial law. But the message given by Army Chief is laud and clear. The democracy is welcome, the judiciary is respectable and a vocal media is desirable but the institution of Army should not be taken for a ride. It has its vitality for defense, integrity and stability of country.

Many people will stretch their imagination to correlate this statement with different scenario. The fact is that it has linkage with Mush case, the dialogue with TTP and discussions on electronic media. Over the past about a decade a campaign has been launched in the country to defame and undermine Pak Army as an institution. This campaign is part of 4th Generation War that has been imposed on Pakistan by its enemies. Some of the TV channels have been purchased by enemies for transmitting poisonous propaganda against Army, Pakistan ideology and Islam.

The govt should take the situation seriously and thwart all the possibilities of a confrontation between civil and military establishment. As I said in an earlier post that the way Mush is being singled out in treason case, has the potentials of creating problems for the govt. Similarly dialogue process with TTP seems to be lopsided and tilted in favor of terrorists. There is no respite in uncalled for critique of Army on electronic media.

There is still time for the govt to rescue the situation before it becomes too late..

Akhtar Malik

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Who All Have Abrogated the Constitution in Pakistan

By Akhtar Malik

24 June, 2013

IS PERVEZ MUSHARAF THE ONLY ONE WHO ABROGATED THE CONSTITUTION?

16706-mush-1364625706-852-640x480Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef has announced in National Assembly on 24 June 2013 that Federal Government has decided to prosecute Gen Pervez Musharaf under Article 6 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Gen Pervez Musharaf, as the Army Chief, had abrogated the constitution twice; first in 1999 by toppling an elected government of NS and second in 2007 by imposing emergency plus and sending the judges of the superior courts into illegal custody. Obviously he has committed a grave offense that merits proper punishment under the law of land. He had voluntarily surrendered himself before the law in March this year to face all the pending cases against him.

But the question arises; is Musharaf the only one who has abrogated the constitution? Is no one else in Pakistan guilty of the same heinous crime? Let us have a quick analysis of the situation.

I am neither a supporter of Pervez Musharaf nor I condone this crime of high treason. I believe that Pervez Musharaf is responsible for majority of the ills and problems through which this country is passing today. But what about a large number of other people who are guilty of the same crime of flouting the constitution and still are enjoying immunity on one pretext or the other. Let us see how the constitution of Pakistan has been violated and desecrated time and again.

Article 11 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan says:

(1) Slavery is non-existent and forbidden and no law shall permit or facilitate its introduction into Pakistan in any form.

(2) All forms of forced labor and traffic in human beings are prohibited.

(3) No child below the age of fourteen years shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment.

Article 25 (1) of the Constitution says:

‘All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law’.

Article 32 of the Constitution says:

‘The State shall encourage local Government institutions composed of elected representatives of the areas concerned and in such institutions special representation will be given to peasants, workers and women’.

Article 38 of the Constitution reads:

‘The State shall-

(a) secure the well-being of the people, irrespective of sex, caste, creed or race, by raising their standard of living, by preventing the concentration of wealth and means of
production and distribution in the hands of a few to the detriment of general interest and by ensuring equitable adjustment of rights between employers and employees, and
landlords and tenants;

(b) provide for all citizens, within the available resources of the country, facilities for work and adequate livelihood with reasonable rest and leisure;

(c) provide for all persons employed in the service of Pakistan or otherwise, social security by compulsory social insurance or other means;

(d) provide basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, housing , education and medical relief, for all such citizens, irrespective of sex caste, creed or race, as are permanently or temporarily unable to earn their livelihood on account of infirmity, sickness or unemployment;

(e) reduce disparity in the income and earnings of individuals, including persons in the various classes of the service of Pakistan; and

(f) eliminate riba as early as possible’.

Tell me which government, ruler, leader or political party, since inception of the constitution in 1973 has:
• Taken steps to stop concentration of wealth in few hands.
• Provided facilities for work and adequate livelihood to citizens.
• Provided basic necessities of life like food, shelter, education, medical etc to its those citizens who are unable to earn.
• Reduced disparity in the income and earnings of individuals (rather this disparity has increased over the period of time)
• Made even slightest effort to eliminate Riba (interest)
• Ensured an equal and just treatment to all its citizens under the law.
• Eliminated slavery and forced labor. Even today there are private jails of feudal lords and sardars in Sindh and Baluchistan.
• Encouraged local governments. The military dictators had encouraged it but the democratic governments have always avoided this constitutional responsibility.

All the successive governments and their functionaries since inception of constitution in 1973 have continuously been abrogating the constitution with impunity. They have played havoc with the life, property, honor, dignity and respect of the citizens. They have kept the nation illiterate and prone to diseases. Instead of eliminating disparity of incomes they have created islands of prosperity through corrupt practices and nepotism. With ‘Thana’ and ‘Patwari’ culture and a corrupt electorate system, they have plunged the nation in worst kind of slavery, whereby the MNAs / MPs are no less than a demi gods for their people. Aren’t these rulers and political parties guilty of abrogating the constitution?

And finally Article 218 (3) of the Constitution reads:

‘It shall be the duty of the Election Commission constituted in relation to an election to organize and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against’.

Think over it. Have the elections been conducted in accordance with the spirit of constitution? Haven’t the corrupt, the tax evaders, the loan defaulters, the liars, the holders of fake degrees been given safe passage to contest elections and to make their way to assemblies? Haven’t the fake votes, the votes surplus to the registered vote been cast, the results on polling stations been withheld / delayed unjustly, the presiding officers been intimidated on gun point. Haven’t the polling stations in Karachi and elsewhere been made as ‘No Go Areas’ even for the media? All this happened right under the nose of the caretaker governments, the Election Commission, the Judiciary and the law enforcing agencies. So, aren’t these institutions guilty of flouting the Constitution?

Coming back to the crime of Pervez Musharaf, let us have a comparison. Pervez Musharaf abrogated the constitution to the extent of suspending some of its provisions related to the functionality of the parliament and the judiciary, that too for a limited period of time. These provisions had little to do with the daily routine of a citizen. A citizen is always obsessed with his safety and livelihood and is hardly concerned with suspension or functionality of few provisions of the constitution. On the other hand the successive governments in Pakistan flouted the constitution and made the life of a citizen miserable and unbearable. A common poor citizen has become so disgusted that he chooses to commit suicide and sell his siblings in the market, just to make his both ends meet. Ask any person on the street and he will tell you who all have committed more serious crimes in relation to the Constitution.

I am neither a fan of Pervez Musharaf nor a supporter of his policies. But all those who have violated and abrogated the Constitution should be brought to book and punished accordingly. Singling out one person from a crowd of criminals seems to be against the norms of dispensing justice.

How Can the Corrupt and Loan Defaulters be Prohibited From Contesting Election in Pakistan

There is an intense demand from the people of Pakistan that Election Commission and the caretaker government should prohibit the loan defaulters and tax evaders from contesting the elections. This can be achieved if the provisions of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan are implemented ruthlessly. Will it materialize? Hafeezulllah Niazi has discussed it in his column.

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Let Us Give a Chance to Elections in Pakistan

By Akhtar Malik
29 March 2013
safe_image.phpIn his public address in Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi on 17 March 2013 Dr. Tahir ul Qadri announced that his party Pakistan Awami Tehreek will not participate in the coming general elections. He vowed not only to boycott the elections but also to protest against it by arranging sit-ins (Dharnas) throughout Pakistan on the day of polling on 11 May 2013. The rationale for this decision as given by him is that no electoral reforms have been carried out, as was committed by the outgoing government to him earlier this year, to make the election process fair, free, just, impartial and clean from all corrupt practices. Dr. Tahir ul Qadri is of the opinion that nothing good can be expected from the existing unconstitutionally-structured Election Commission, which has not been empowered to introduce reforms and implement them. As per his view, the forthcoming elections are being held to protect the corrupt politicians who will be able to make their way to the parliament once again through these elections.
The stance of Dr. Tahir ul Qadri is correct and unambiguous. The way the Election Commission has framed new nomination papers and code of conduct, is nothing more than eyewash and will surely provide escape routes to the corrupt and inept candidates, who are otherwise ineligible to contest elections under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan. The components of this Election Commission are not geared to carry out meaningful scrutiny of candidates. It is only a revolutionary government installed with deliberate support of people that can carry out ruthless and across-the-board accountability. However the decision to boycott the elections, particularly asking the public to do the same, has its own demerits.
Dr. Tahir ul Qadri has worked very hard to inculcate awareness among people and educate them on provisions of the Constitution. Now even a common man is aware of the contents of Articles 62, 63, 218 and knows what the elected representatives are bound to deliver under Article 34 once they are elected to form the government.  Now was the time for people to come out en-mass and fill the polling booths for casting their votes in favor of clean and honest candidates. Despite corrupt practices by the traditional politicians and Election Commission overlooking these violations, a very large turnout on the day of polling can make a pleasant difference. The silent majority which hitherto-fore had been abstaining from voting can play a very decisive role in electing the new faces and better candidates. On the other hand if a large population abstains from the electoral process there is danger that the corrupt political mafia will bring their cronies to the polling stations and become victorious even with a small turnout. The decision by a large number of followers of Dr. Tahir ul Qadri to “Vote for None” will therefore damage the clean and honest candidates and indirectly help the corrupt political mafia.
The decision to boycott the elections seems to be erroneous. The protest in the form of sit-ins (Dharnas) on the day of polling is therefore not likely to create a substantial impact. This may be seen in the backdrop of the fact that collective wisdom of the people of Pakistan has already decided in favor of bringing a change through the ballot. This is the reason why people have not protested en-mass on the streets against the PPP-led government despite the worst kind of sufferings during the 5-year tenure. They were seeing a silver lining in the elections to get rid of the government. They still have a hope in the coming elections, though they may stand disappointed at the end of the day. I am of the opinion that elections must be given a chance to change the destiny of the country. A better strategy of protesting against the corrupt electoral system by Dr. Tahir ul Qadri and his followers would be to turnout at the polling stations in largest possible numbers wearing black bands on the arms, and cast their votes for the change. The followers of Dr. Tahir ul Qadri are imbued with the spirit of change and would never like to vote in favor of the corrupt candidates. But if they are motivated by their leaders to vote for the catalysts of change they can act as a force multiplier. However the people of Pakistan reserve the right to protest against the election results if they prove to be rigged.
Akhtar Malik, a freelance writer, can be reached at akhterhayatmalik@yahoo.com