Parliament killing law by legislation
July 27, 2012
The PPP’s Government has mastered the art of quashing the laws by abusing the democratic procedure of legislating and amending laws/bills in the parliament. The entire parliamentary system of present day is geared towards legislation of bills to deprive state institutions of their powers to check and punish the corrupt ministers and their partners. The ultimate aim is to save the king whose head would roll if pending cases are reopened.
The Government-judiciary conflict appears to be escalating as the Chief Justice, IfthikarChaudhry, has stated that the parliament cannot curtail the powers of the judiciary by means of legislation. The parliament had already passed a bill amending the contempt of court law that exempts the Prime Minister, President and other VVIP officials, including ministers, from contempt of court law. Petitions challenging the law are under review, but the court has made it clear that the old law still holds supremacy. It is doubtful if the judiciary will not strike down the new amendment curtailing its powers to punish those guilty of ridiculing, or ignoring the courts orders. Prime Minister Gallani was sent home because the court had the powers to punish the convict. If Prime Minister Raja Ashraf refuses to abide by the court orders, he, too, would be facing the same verdict as Mr. Gillani did. Raja Ashraf has made it very clear that he has no intensions of offending President Zardari until now by writing a letter to the Swiss Government to initiate money-laundering cases against his mentor.
Nawaz Sharif and the Imran Khan have made it clear that their parties will not tolerate the clipping of the judicial powers. No sane person would wish to see the judiciary lose its teeth and powers to stop the mockery of law that the PPP government and its coalition partners, the MQM, PML(Q) and ANP, are striving for by using their prerogative to legislate new laws. An unjust law cannot be considered as law. Under the prevailing circumstances, the judiciary is under constant malicious attacks and needs to be proactive to save the institutions from becoming hostage in the hands of corrupt politicians. The PPP-led coalition Government has managed to cripple almost every institution and plunged even its hometown into utter chaos. President Zardari has expertly raised huge mountains of political and legal controversies that will require drastic measures and perhaps even extra constitutional measures if the brewing crises are to be contained. With little time left before the general elections, the PPP Government has wasted most of the time in conflict with state institutions that challenged its corrupt practices instead of providing relief to the people. Relations with the Punjab Government were never friendly and stable as the PPP enjoyed rocking the PML(N) boat and appointing Governors whose task appeared to be igniting political controversies. The conflict plunged the largest province into an extreme energy crisis creating massive closer of industry and begetting unemployment as a consequence.
Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, has slipped into the hands of a mafia that is part of the political system. The city police and Rangers have been converted into an impotent force that provides escorts to politicians as they move around the city. The criminals rule the city while the police and the politicians get their share of protection and money from the mafia. With one of the highest rates of target and political killings, Karachi depicts the callousness of the Government and its failure to control law and order in the country. From Khyber to Karachi, the PPP Government’s failures are visible in the form of innocent deaths from bomb blasts and drone attacks. The parliament has surely failed to bring peace and harmony in the country, while only ensuring the safety of the corrupt and the powerful. Zardari’s request for an all-party conference is a wise step, but opposition parties may look forward to discussing how to end the on-going failures of the Government and call early elections.