Judicial bungling: Islamabad's dog and pony show

Apparently, the judiciary is under the impression that they have the divine right to interfere and tamper with policy.

Adnan Rasool October 21, 2010
Recently I have been trying to figure out exactly what is going on in Islamabad and more importantly what exactly the PPP and judiciary are on? Right now it seems the biggest favor they can do is to pass on whatever they are smoking on to the rest of us. The other favor they can do for this country is start doing their jobs.

Now when I say jobs I mean jobs based on the descriptions that have been formed in the constitution.

What should be happening

According to the constitution, the executive is supposed to work on a policy with the help of the legislature. The judiciary’s job is to ensure that legislation is effectively implemented. That is how it is supposed to work, based on the simple logic of democracy, where we vote to send people to legislate on our behalf and then they come up a legislation on our behalf, pass it to the executive branch of the government so that it can implement it and if it is not implemented properly (again on our behalf), the judiciary is supposed to be contacted to help out with the oversight.

But instead...

Apparently, the judiciary is under the impression that we the people of Pakistan voted for them, and that they have the divine right to interfere and tamper with policy as they see fit.

1) Firstly, that is not their job - Policy making and legislation is done by the legislator.

2) Secondly, if they are not going to do their job of monitoring oversight, than whom exactly is doing that?

When a person says something against the courts, they are held in contempt, but what do we do when the judiciary is in contempt of the people of Pakistan?

Who speaks for the people?

From the looks of it, we elected our representatives - good or bad - that was our choice. But the judiciary constantly, ignores our mandate or worse still refuses to accept its relevance.

It’s not only the judiciary who has forgotten their job descriptions, our executive and legislative arms have also forgotten what it is that they need to be doing. Instead of working on policy and management of public funds for development of this nation, the executive and the legislature think that they are in an episode of Desperate Housewives or some random Indian soap opera, where every character is plotting against the other and they are the poor heroine of the story who just sulks and cries to sleep every night.

Let the dramabaazi end

Our leaders must figure out that Pakistan is not a TV channel and this is not a soap opera. We are back in business and the business is that of running the country the way it’s supposed to be run: through legislation and implementation rather than shouting matches and irrelevant court cases that do not affect the nation at large.

Six steps to a better Islamabad

In principle, the judiciary and the executive should consider doing the following:

  • Let us exactly know what they are drugs they are on. (After all sharing is caring.)

  • Find the nearest copy of the constitution, highlight their job descriptions, read them aloud and then try following them for a day.

  • Realize that people vote for politicians, not judges. If the judges wish to wield power on policy issues, they should become politicians. Maybe that is how we will get better politicians.

  • Understand that talking the talk is not walking the walk. When you say stuff you are going to do, you actually have to do it.

  • Explain to the media that journalists are not elected; their job is to observe and report.

  • Stop treating the people of Pakistan like a bunch of emotional idiots -that is contempt of the people, and our court is the ballot box.

So, all they need to do is understand what institutions should be doing and actually do it. It sounds simple enough but then again we are expecting people high in the sky to do real work. Fingers crossed.
Adnan Rasool Currently the Deputy Executive Director Center for Enterprise, Trade and Development, Adnan is also a political analyst working mainly on electoral politics and political campaign management. He tweets at @adnanrasool
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