Govt counsel sees chaos if SC strikes down amendment

Zahid Gishkori August 05, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The federation’s counsel, Barrister Baachaa, on Thursday said that former dictator General Pervez Musharraf would not have dared to tinker with or disgrace the Constitution had his predecessor the late General Ziaul Haq been punished.

“If General Zia’s body had been hanged, General Musharraf would never have imposed emergency and confined the Supreme Court judges to their homes,” observed Barrister Baachaa in his concluding arguments in the 18th amendment case. He was presenting his arguments before the 17-member Supreme Court bench in light of a constitutional clause dealing  with high treason (Article 6).

Article 6, according to Barrister Baachaa, is not a ceremonial part of the Constitution, which is why the Supreme Court ought not to strike down the amendment. Baachaa warned that any such move could create a constitutional crisis.

Then, Justice Jawad S Khawaja asked him to identify the forces that were blocking action against the violators of the Constitution. “You (Mr Baachaa) are the federation’s lawyer, tell us who is responsible,” Justice Khawaja pursued.

Barrister Baachaa replied, “I will inform the court upon receiving instructions from the prime minister and the president.”

Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday asked as to why the parliament was proceeding on such assumptions when the Article 175-A was not considered by the parliamentary committee.

On this point, Baachaa said that since “the 18th Amendment has been passed unanimously by parliament, there is no harm if there is indulgence of the legislators on the appointment of judges in the superior judiciary.”

Justice Ramday remarked that in the previous mechanism, parliament was involved in the shape of prime minister, in his or her capacity as head of the parliamentary system and leader of the house.

He also questioned clauses of the 18th Amendment which gloss over the key role of the PM in the judicial commission that deals with the appointment of judges.

Baachaa replied that the PM’s role had not been excluded while the president was also a part of the parliament.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2010.


Syed A. Mateen | 11 years ago | Reply The Constitution of Pakistan should remain supreme at all cost. Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah have never told to first make the Constitution and then to abrogate the same. We lost one wing of Pakistan because Pakistan’s first constitution was abrogated by General Ayub Khan in 1958, after eleven years of independence. Then it became an adventure for the dictators to repeal the constitution time and again. Had Pakistan’s constitution never repealed, it would have been a different Pakistan today then what it is now. Neither Bangladesh would have emerged as a separate country on the world map, nor there would been unrest anywhere in Pakistan. If we want to save Pakistan, we should first save the constitution. Abrogation of Constitution is major administrative fault which bring the entire country upside down. Let the democracy flourish whatever manner it may flourish. After all countries learn from their past experiences. The example of any country without constitution is as similar as of a naked person roaming on the street.
Fayyaz Haider | 11 years ago | Reply Only by adding more and more clauses/articles to the constitution is not the solution unless they are made operational. On the one end we say Parliament is supreme but on the other end it is even not able to hang the violator of the constitution. Surprisingly our parliament and Federation's counsel are talking about to hang the body of General Zia but avoiding to do the same in case of General Musharraf. Is this a supereme Parliament. Only lame excuses can not take us to the brighter future. Our parliament just want rights but avoid its duties. The judges have changed their history by giving a historical decision against procalamation of Musharraf emergency of 3rd November 2009, now it is the duty of the so called supreme parliament to change its history by hanging the violator of constitution. Are they just supreme before the Superior Court.
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