Op Ed: Two Neglected Major Issues in Pakistan
By Munir M Hasan, PhD
After listening to a number of commentators and the legal experts in TV programs, I am surprised to note that all of them are neglecting two major Constitutional matters which are quite obvious.
Holding of general elections, whether national or provincial, are matters which are elaborated in the Constitution of Pakistan quite clearly. So, holding elections is a Constitutional matter which has to be performed with primary importance and without hinderance of any person or authority. The simultaneous holding of national and provincial elections is not a Constitutional requirement as this matter is NOT provided in the Constitution.
However, it is seen that the present government, their law experts and many others, are giving more importance to holding of all elections simultaneously as if no provincial elections can be held if the national elections are not held simultaneously. Giving more importance to a non-Constitutional matter and neglecting a Constitutional matter is like distorting the Constitution. However, nobody seems serious over this matter.
As stated above, holding of provincial elections is a Constitutional requirement. So, providing money for the provincial elections is a Constitutional requirement, and nobody, or even no authority can stop this amount. This amount has to be provided without any hinderance and without any approval of any authority because it is not a routine government expenditure. Not providing this amount is a violation of the constitution. The person(s) and the authority refusing to provide money are guilty of violating the Constitution. However, this matter is being taken lightly, and the persons violating this Constitutional provision are not being punished.
Looking this matter in a broader way, if this principle is once accepted that any person, authority, or even the Parliament, can stop the money required for holding elections, a Constitutional requirement, it will amount to saying that holding of general elections is not a Constitutional matter, but a matter under the control of the Parliament, and Parliament can postpone any future general elections indefinitely by refusing to provide the money.
Will the Supreme Court Pakistan take action on these points, or will it accept and legalize the violation of the Constitution?