News Analysis |
Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has expressed dismay at senior judicial figures and lamented them for labeling the elected representatives as thieves and looters. The PM headed the important meeting of the PML-N legislators from both federal and provincial assemblies, where they discussed whether the government has the legal right to make legislative decisions.
He criticized the judiciary using strong language and showed reservations over the conduct of the court and considered [with the fellow parliamentarians] if it is possible to discuss the behavior of the judges on the assembly floor. Parliamentarians feel threatened by judicial powers and question if SC could scrap legislation passed by the House.
This is why PM Abbasi asked, “Does this House have no power to legislate? Should we seek approval before legislating?” He was right with his comment that there is a confrontation between the institutions but did not express the origins of this unfortunate situation.
The PM expressed concerns over the humiliation suffered by the elected members over different issues when the court summons the parliamentarians seeking clarification over their actions. The PM seeks a discussion on this issue. He demands that roles of the institutions should be defined.
The opposition leader Khursheed Shah also agreed with the PM and said, every institution should work within its parameters and pre-defined boundary. He added that the judiciary has no authority to reject the legislation, though it may interpret it as required.
Nevertheless, he opted for a more balanced and guarded approach and reminded the legislators of the results of the personalized legislation. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Shafqat Mehmood was of the view that PML-N has been in government many times and has failed to reform the judicial system but now it aims to curb the authority of the judiciary expecting unfavorable outcomes in a number of pending cases.
He also questioned the government’s hypocrisy as it seeks the supremacy of parliament on one side but it sent troops to Saudi Arabia without consulting the parliament over this crucial issue.
Override Judiciary in Nawaz’s Wish List
There has been a debate over the supremacy of the institutions and questions are asked which is superior, parliament or the Supreme Court (SC)? The questions regarding the separation of power among the judiciary, executive, and legislature to ensure accountability and check misuse of power are yet to be cleared.
After openly lamenting the judiciary one by one over the ousting of former PM Nawaz Sharif, the ruling PML-N is now interested to confront the judiciary on the floor of the National Assembly (NA).
After winning a number of high profile by-elections and traveling across the country to gather support, Nawaz believes the party has been successful in altering the viewpoint of people using the ‘mujhay kyun nikala’ slogan.
Taking over from father-daughter duo Nawaz and Maryam, the PM also came into the act [which has been the policy of the PML-N since Nawaz’s ousting] and rather unexpectedly blamed the judiciary over the functioning of the incumbent government. He alleged that the judiciary has acutely affected the functioning of the government.
PML-N is expecting unfavorable results from the accountability courts. In a strategic move, the party acted upon the advice of Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and opted to use GT Road to kick start an anti-judiciary campaign & since then continued anti-judiciary rants to change public opinion of Nawaz’s ousting.
After winning a number of high profile by-elections and traveling across the country to gather support, Nawaz believes the party has been successful in altering the viewpoint of people using the ‘mujhay kyun nikala’ slogan. They want to somehow contain the judiciary to avoid further damage or to legislate according to their wishes, if re-elected.
This is why PM Abbasi asked, “Does this House have no power to legislate? Should we seek approval before legislating?” He was right with his comment that there is a confrontation between the institutions but did not express the origins of this unfortunate situation. Who was responsible for chanting slogans against the judiciary? And what circumstances led to this?