SC says 'sect' introduced in Constitution by 'military dictator'

Published: May 20, 2015
File photo of Hazara women protesting in Quetta. PHOTO: AFP

File photo of Hazara women protesting in Quetta. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Judge Justice Qazi Faez Isah argued on Wednesday that the word ‘sect’ was not included in the original 1973 Constitution but was added later by a military dictator, referring to Ziaul Haq.

Article 227 states all existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

Read: SC ponders over whether Pakistan can be declared a secular state

The explanation states that in the application of this clause to the personal law of any Muslim sect, the expression ‘Quran and Sunnah’ means the Quran and Sunnah as interpreted by that particular sect.

He maintained that this explanation was added in 1985 and if the government wants to abolish sectarianism, it will have to go back to the original Constitution.

Agreeing with the observation, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said that this explanation regarding the term ‘sect’ was mentioned by military dictator, referring to Ziaul Haq.

Read: 1973 Constitution an uneasy marriage between socialism and Islam, govt tells SC

Another judge, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, while referring to Article 2-A of the Constitution remarked that if they accept the features, which are given by the Objective Resolution, then it may lead to the destruction of the other provisions of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, counsel for the federal government, Khalid Anwar told the bench that the 1973 Constitution is a political document and the lawyers have only drafted it, therefore, they cannot get supremacy over the over the politicians who founded the country.

Read: Constitution’s basic structure must be protected: Supreme Court

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan questioned how the Parliament could suspend the people’s fundamental rights, which are guaranteed by the Constitution. The counsel said that the basic structure it is permanent and fixed.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • pakistani
    May 20, 2015 - 2:49PM

    SC, thank you for wasting our country valuable time in this debate while 1000 of the terrorists and other cases are pending. Recommend

  • Ghareebshahri
    May 20, 2015 - 3:38PM

    Oooo baba whatever you write in constitution, will it do anything…. It is just paper with no implementation and existence….Recommend

  • tejasroy1245
    May 20, 2015 - 4:41PM

    Rakhi is a traditional occasion that each and every Indian participates every year, because it is not bound by race but by humanity itself. Send Rakhi Gifts to UK on this Rakhsha Bandhan and delight your brother from miles away. The best way of sending your love and warm regards to your brother from miles away is to Send Rakhi to United Kingdom online and be with them spiritually on this special day.Recommend

    May 20, 2015 - 4:56PM

    The Judges are speaking like ordinary Lawyers totally ignoring ramifications of their irresponsible utterings. This myth of judiciary must be removed. Our judiciary is responsible for public frustrations. There is need for reforming our Judges from bottom to the top.Recommend

    May 20, 2015 - 5:42PM

    sc is enjoying and could better be a debating club Recommend

  • Z
    May 20, 2015 - 6:01PM

    This military dictator loved mangoes Recommend

  • just_someone
    May 20, 2015 - 6:43PM

    Although I know most Pakistanis dont care for this debate, I think it is very positive that this conversation is happening.
    There are a lot of oppression written in our current constitution and we need to discuss its ramifications to remove it since talking about it will allow different people to weigh in and it will show the oppressive nature of the clauses.
    Now, I agree with the other commenters that this is just a paper document… it doesnt necessarily change ground realities. True, nothing happens instantly. Change will occur over time if we hold strong to what we learn from the conversations and discussions that are sparked from this…

    When any constitutional argument occurs in the US SC, it is closely followed by the educated and intellectual parts of society. This is because people believe they have a stake and hence chime in.
    I hope we get to this point someday where we feel this country is ours and each happening in it, at all levels of society, affects us and hence we should take ownership and push things towards we want them to go.Recommend

  • Naeem Khan
    May 20, 2015 - 8:09PM

    Basically Pakistanis never ever respected their constitution, the laws of the land only applies to the masses, the elite and the ruling class is above the law and these are the facts in Pakistan. Who could forget when a dictator like Zia saying that constitution was a piece of paper and he could tear it up in thousand pieces which he did along with other rulers. The judiciary in Pakistan has such a bad reputation because of their past that when ever they pass judgments no one abides by it in a true sense, ie: missing persons case, Above all the so called Parliament is so corrupt and pliant that they pass laws which benefit them and they could never stand up when the constitution was being trampled by dictators or even dubiously elected prime ministers. I have not seen or heard a single Parliamentarian who could stand up and lobby for repealing all the draconian amendments made by dictators specially by Zia. My friends the respect for other people’s rights and the constitution starts at child hood and at primary schools. It is not the Parliament which is supreme but the EDUCATION, when people are educated they will choose the right people who will serve the nation instead of their self interests. Let us not forget either that foreign countries interfere freely for decades in the internal affairs of Pakistan and some time these countries support and caused these dictators and suggest their actions to mangle the constitution.Recommend

  • John B
    May 20, 2015 - 10:13PM

    “Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, while referring to Article 2-A of the Constitution remarked that if they accept the features, which are given by the Objective Resolution, then it may lead to the destruction of the other provisions of the Constitution.”

    Exactly my point all along in my comments regarding PAK constitution. Bravo, I was just pointing out the obvious and finally the justice scholarship agrees on that.

    It may be academic, but when viewed with his comments, PAK constitution contradicts itself on fundamental rights. Recommend

  • John B
    May 20, 2015 - 10:58PM


    I agree with you entirely. Unless people take constitutional matters seriously, there will not be any order.

    The following are the excerpts of Preamble of three constitutions for compare and contrast. The preamble to the constitution establishes the spirit of the entire text, and we can see why even today PAK is arguing on the issues of preamble.

    Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust; And whereas it is the will of the people of Pakistan to establish an order :- … Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed;…..Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minoritiesfreely to profess and practise their religions and develop their cultures;

    We, the People of India having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic and to secure to all its citizens; Justice, social, economic, political; Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; Equality of status and opportunity; and to promote among them all; Fraternity, assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation ;…… Enact and Give to ourselves this Constitution.

    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    In PAK constitution, the stated liberty for minorities to freely practice (now Shia also included, I guess) is at the discretion of Muslims when they provide (implicit in this word is that they can also choose not to provide) adequate (not as complete as for the Muslims) provisions.

    The PAK spirit itself is discriminatory and hence there is always Us Vs them provisions, and laws in PAK, and minority rights are charity given by the majority,as explicitly stated. In short, all are not equal, and the constitution establishes that in several articles.

    Hope ET allows this comment as this will be a good discussion under this news story. Recommend

  • Rizwan
    May 20, 2015 - 11:17PM

    secularize the constitution instead of arguing religious matters in a courtroom. That will bring more peace to Pakistan.Recommend

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