Search

Behind the 18th Amendment

Confrontation in the political arena is crossing the chaotic limits. Government intends to comply with its mandate – elimination of corruption by hook or by crook. Unfortunately, the reports of the Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) have proved to be only a set of rumours and allegations. Perhaps, that is why the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had to say that names of the top officials cannot be put in the Exit Control List (ECL) just merely on a JIT report.
Government seems to be in hurry in opening up too many fronts of conflicts with the opposition parties in the name of accountability. Perhaps, the key players in the government know that they are short of time and they won’t be able to deliver what they had promised to their voters and supporters. So, they are trying to play all cranky shots in haste around the wicket to show the volume of their efforts. Obviously, after failing in their clumsy efforts, they would be able to justify to the public saying that they had put their best to unveil the corruption but the system was not supportive. They won’t take it on to their incapacity and inefficiency.
Having the same team as the dictator General Pervez Musharaf had, the government is trying to repeat the same non-democratic glitches the former dictator did to damage the political system and its stability mechanisms.
The 18th Amendment in the Constitution was debated in the parliament then or not, it was endorsed by all the political parties sitting in the then parliament. And, they had the honour to repeal the constitutional amendments done by the dictators, General Zia ul Haq and General Pervez Musharraf.
I know the present pro-establishment government cannot make any commission or JIT to probe the dark-sides of the dictatorial regimes. Even, the pro-people democratic governments of PPP and PML-N could not dare do it in their regimes. The latter one tried to raise its voice against the authoritarian elements and they faced the music. Surely, the present government wants to stay for a while to register its mandate. So, it is unlikely to have them say anything against the forces behind them, whatever they are. At least, the government could avert conflict on the 18th amendment in the constitution that is flaring up the political confrontation to ridiculously egoistic situation.
Bilawal’s stance for the 18th amendment, like many other democrats is well appreciated as it has strengthened the parliamentary system by relinquishing the powers of the President of Pakistan. It was by the virtue of the President Asif Ali Zardari who wholeheartedly supported the amendment for the sake of strengthening the parliamentary democracy in Pakistan.
Earlier, the country had seen Gen Zia ulHaq, Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari, Ghula Ishaq Khan and General Pervez Musharraf sending the elected governments back home as the presidents of the country. The 18thamendment has blocked this authoritarian power of the President of Pakistan – the most valuable addition in the constitution. However, the devolution of some of the subjects to the provinces may be considered to repeal for the sake of international reporting obligations and seeking funds to address the national international obligations.
While everyone is supporting the key elements of the 18th Amendment, the PPP folds need not to worry about it. However they should not mix it up with the accountability process they are going through. They had faced the similar charges in the past too. It shall be treated as routine stuff, not to be associated with the ‘federation’. An amendment in the constitution should not be the point of egoistic confrontation for anyone. While the opposition of the 18th Amendment has to be careful in touching it, the proponents of the amendment have to be careful too while defending it.
Bilawal’s linking the accountability move against his party leadership with the 18th Amendment that according to him is leading ‘federation in danger’ is just a lousy political stunt. There could be many other political ways to defend and strengthen the parliamentary system than citing the lousy slogans that lead to severe confrontation in the political arena and ultimate confusion and frustration for the general public. Pease avoid such political stunts.



--!>

Dhawan rules out of World Cup campaign

--!>