A republic of laws

I am neither a student of law, nor an expert in jurisprudence. However as an educated Pakistani anxious to see a democratic welfare system of government flourish and complete its tenure, I hope that better sense prevails to regulate the working relationship between two leading main political parties of Pakistan. It is needless to emphasise that political parties must work strictly within the confines of constitution and must submit to rule of law. To quote John Adams, the second President of USA, "We want a republic of laws, not of men". Pakistan has suffered for too long due to the whims of individuals who, illegally and without any moral authority, occupied power through the barrel of a gun. This country was created on the basis of a constitutional struggle waged by politicians, all men of integrity and almost all of them lawyers. There is no denying the fact that imposition of martial law is an extra constitutional act, which has no legal coverage according to the constitution. Irrespective of decisions passed by our tame and subservient judiciary condoning acts of usurpers, their acts remain unconstitutional and cannot hold any legal stature once the constitution is restored. The act of suspension of constitution is as legal as an act of rape or an occupation done by an invading army or a murder committed on the orders of a Jirga or panchayat, since these traditional bodies have not been given legal cover under the constitution. All judgements of judiciary, who are forced to take a fresh oath under duress to pledge allegiance to a military dictator, hold no constitutional protection nor do they carry any constitutional authority. -ALI MALIK TARIQ, Lahore, via e-mail, February 2.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt