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Why unilateral decisions always lead to political turmoil?

The supreme court of Pakistan had a great chance to issue a balance decision of restoring the assembly and urging the political parties to go to the public courts, in order to acquire a fresh mandate. Through this, it would have not only done justice to the doctrine of necessity forever but could have avoided the political crisis as well. But the court decided differently, which has raised political turmoil in the country.

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Nobody can question the legal validity of the 7th April judgment of the court, if one considers its legal side. On one side, the verdict has buried the doctrine of necessity once and for all, on the other hand, it provided speedy justice to the opposition parties over the nights. During the proceedings, the chief justice of Pakistan argued that the court will only consider the legal perspective of the case, no matter what the political situation is. I think he has kept to his claims, and if the honorable judiciary would have considered the political side of the situation, the result would have been a little different and more comprehensive. However, the judgment of the court has become a part of the country’s history, yet it has left several implications in the politics of Pakistan, in the shape of polarization, detachment, intolerance and lack of political consensus, etc.

The constitution is a human-made document and a social contract, written by the legislature of state decades or even hundreds of years ago in a completely different time. In a famous book named “The People Themselves; Popular Constitutionalism and Judicial Review” the author Larry Kramer writes that every constitution needs to be evolved, updated and reinterpreted, in order to keep it effective and efficient. It is necessary because the laws are framed in a completely different time, which more often does not match the present era.

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According to him, it is the utmost duty of the supreme court to perform the above-mentioned duties in order to maintain the legal validity of the laws. More importantly, the mutual understanding and consensus of the judiciary and parliament are much significant for effective governance and smooth running of the society, in order to conduct such legal evolution and updation of the constitution.

Nobody can ignore the role of the legislature 

But unfortunately, in the case of the recent jurisdiction, the highest court of Pakistan has acted unilaterally, by ignoring the role of the parliament. For instance, the court has disregarded article 69 which is about the absoluteness of the proceedings inside the Majlis-i-Shoora (Parliament). Similarly, it did not consider article 63 of the constitution as well. Thus giving legal protection to one side’s claims will encourage a number of evils in the social, economic and political spheres of Pakistan. A crime motivated evils such as floor-crossing, horse-trading, corruption and elitist status quo are given lose and free ground due to such decisions.

Moreover, the legal verdict has inflamed the fire of polarization, political character assassination, egoistic politics and hatred. As a result, the non-political forces have been given free hand to play their active role in politics, for which they are very famous from the beginning. There is a distinct line between the political forces, and no political entity is ready to reach a fruitful, win-win consensus.

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The supreme court of Pakistan had a great chance to issue a balance decision of restoring the assembly and urging the political parties to go to the public courts, in order to acquire a fresh mandate. Through this, it would have not only done justice to the doctrine of necessity forever but could have avoided the political crisis as well. But the court decided differently, which has raised political turmoil in the country. Now such political instability, vulnerabilities and tensions will be felt for a long time.

 

The writer currently works as a Research Associate at the International Parliamentarians’ Congress Islamabad. He can be reached at barkatullahbarakaat@gmail.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.