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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The people’s champion Sheikh Rasheed demands ‘Martial Law’

News Analysis |

Awami Mulsim League (AML) outspoken Leader Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has demanded a 90-day judicial martial law in an appeal to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) of Pakistan.

The controversial leader said that the biggest issue facing the country in the upcoming days will be the formation of a caretaker government.

Since CJP has been active in ensuring rule of law and has been a nemesis for ruling party. Taking advantage of the prevailing situation, Rasheed said that whole nation is looking to the judiciary [to solve the problems of this country]. Nawaz Sharif believes, if he’s not here then no one can run this country, God forbidden, therefore, to defeat such mentality and thinking, it is necessary that  CJP should certainly impose a 90-day ‘judicial martial law’ [to hold free and fair elections] and to full fill all the orders. But, it should be only for the general elections 2018, Rasheed exerted.

Read more: Benazir Bhutto: Pakistan’s Iron Lady

The opposition parties have been issuing statements to build consensus on the matter. The opposition leader Khursheed Shah has said that all opposition parties will be able to finalize the name for the Prime Minister before May 30. After consultation with other political parties including the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), consensus on caretaker government will be achieved at the end of May.

Controversial politician echoed the same rhetoric and said that all political parties should be taken on board before reaching the consensus on caretaker PM.

All the political parties are actively participating in pre-poll engagements and elections are expected on time. But, veteran politician Sheikh is apparently skeptical of the PML-N’s nexus with the PPP over the years, where both parties where required provided much-needed leverage to each other.

Rasheed also gave an impression as he was advocating the case for Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf’s chairman Imran Khan. “No caretaker Prime Minister will be accepted without consulting Imran Khan,” asserted Sheikh Rasheed.

Responding to the questions of reporters, regarding the allegations of corruption and embezzlement leveled against him by the ousted PM Nawaz Sharif, Rasheed said, he was never involved in corruption of money laundering in his long political career. Moreover, he has no properties, flats or any other assets in foreign countries.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif’s Anti-Judiciary campaign: Will it ensure his relevance for PML-N?

Highly acclaimed anchorperson and columnist Hamid Mir tweeted that “Sheikh Rashed demanded Judicial Martial Law for 3 months he must read Article 6(2A) of the constitution, a gift of the 18th amendment, now judiciary has no power to validate any kind of Martial Law they can’t impose Judicial Martial Law”.

Hamid also argued that to ensure the free and fair elections, other stakeholders including the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and judiciary can play their due role as stated under the constitution, then why to use the ‘Judicial Martial Law’, he inquired?

When according to the 18th amendment, the judiciary cannot even validate such laws, then how can it impose the Marshal Law? The self-acclaimed crusader may have been aware of the nefarious designs of the political parties which can impose biased individuals to tilt the administrative setup in their favor, but, approaching an unconstitutional way to refrain such elements can be termed insane. It is not something which should be demanded under any situation from the leader of any democratic outfit. 

Read more: Has PTI and PML-N defamed politics?

It doesn’t matter how aggressive Sheikh Rashid has been against Nawaz, but he has a past which only people suffering from selective amnesia can forget.  Such a narrative may strikes the chord with undemocratic forces, but any political worker who believes in democracy would reject the Rasheed’s controversial demands.  Even under General Bajwa’s newly devised doctrine, seeking such demands is undemocratic and unconstitutional. Political allies of Shiekh must distance itself from his controversial and insane demands which only create unnecessary debates and instability in the democratic system-no matter how fragile it is.