“Although this is madness, there is a way in’t.” — Hamlet, William Shakespeare
ONE of two central pillars of democratic constitutionalism, namely the peaceful transfer of power through vote of confidence or no-confidence in National Assembly and Punjab Assembly and Constitutionally Binding Ordinances of high courts on This issue of broadcast of power were flagrantly violated and sabotaged by Imran Khan’s PTI government and his public office holders.
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Imran Khan follows suit of Hitler in 1930s or defective in his personality, which gave rise to this constitutional madness? I think both of these explanations are wrong. Hitler’s fascist politics was very difficult project requiring an intellectually rigorous ideology of hatred, evil brilliance in political strategy and highly organized and cruel terror organization. Although he used fascist and authoritarian tacticsPTI Imran Khan is not a Hitler fascist party because the saving grace of PTI is that it is too politically mediocre, too impatient with political realities, too absorbed in situational strategies, and he lacks terror outfit which has the potential to challenge or infiltrate forced institutions of Pakistani state.
As for Imran’s uncontrollable ego and authoritarian personality as a tool of explanation, potential constitutional collapses cannot be reduced or due to personality defects.
Imran’s Legal Philosophy: The Basics of The legal philosophy of Imran Khan is two-dimensional. first measurement challenges monopoly of higher courts over constitutional interpretation. In other words, legal strategy Admitted as Deputy Speaker of the PTI contrary to Supreme Court ruling in in no-confidence process, as well as the disobedience of the governor of Punjab and the President of rulings of the Lahore High Court regarding the taking of the oath of in new chief minister challenge to exclusive monopoly and finality of higher courts power interpret the Constitution authoritatively.
They tried to ignore orders of Supreme Court and Lahore High Court, arguing that their executive constitutional interpretation is just as constitutionally valid as judicial interpretation of such constitutional issues.
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This may have some superficial historical parallels. with Jefferson’s idea of departmental (executive and legislative branches have equal powers in interpreting the constitution) or battle over joint custody of constitutional interpretation between the judiciary and the legislature in first days of Nehru rule in India. But how should be obvious to anyone with at least basic knowledge of modern constitutional law, such of constitutional thinking was constitutional blasphemy in end of the 20th and 21st centuries as it is destroys constitutional supremacy of the judiciary leading to a civil war between the judiciary and the executive.
political system demonstrated remarkable resilience and ability for course correction.
second measurement subdues or eliminates judges both de jure and de facto, which can provide scrutiny on Imran’s wish for one-party rule. Thus, PTI rule efforts were made to seduce, subdue and eliminate both judges de jure (elected opposition parties and dissenting members of the PTI, the Supreme Court and high courts, the Electoral Commission, NAB and other law enforcement agencies), as well as de facto judges (army, intelligence and media). This is failed pity, because even Pakistan military dictators have failed in goal achievement of long-term one-party or one-institution rule in the country.
law strategy: On a fundamental basis of this two-dimensional legal philosophy of Executive Constitutional Interpretation and Subordination of Judges, Imran’s PTI developed three-stage strategy. First, it attracted in constitutional shenanigans, twisting and undermining words of Constitution in every sense possible in order ensure one-party rule — for for example, winning no-confidence motion using legal fig leaf of Article 5 of By the constitution or by appointing the Governor of the Punjab challenge elections of in new main minister, with malicious intent and abuse of immunity under Article 248 of Constitution.
Secondly, stirred up constitutional chaos creating parallel constitutional bodies, for for example, by resurrecting Usman Buzdar at the post minister in presence of recently elected provincial chief executive Hamza Shehbaz either threatened to fire the army chief or condoned in public criticism of in current KOAS in order to create divisions in the armed forces.
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Thirdly, she tried to fabricate a constitutional collapse through constitutional falsifications and constitutional chaos, so that in best the judges would be willing to negotiate a deal. with PTI or, in the worst case, not allow Imran opponents take power even if it meant imposing of martial law. Briefly speaking, in recent constitutional crisis, political-legal policy PTI strategy It was force early elections as national and Punjab level.
Judges, be careful key lesson for political, military, judicial, bureaucratic, capitalist and media power elites who rule Pakistan, because of this recently averted constitutional collapse, must not allow any institution or party or individual who monopolizes power in Pakistan and ensure that both de jure and de facto judges strike a balance of power and checks on such a monopoly.
Dr. Tariq Banuri, current chairman of Commission on Higher Education, rightly noted in talk with me, the only one safety value in Pakistan against absolute long-term dictatorship of or military or civilian leaders, there was a presence of this balance of power among power elites, and as a result, even in the worst case of times in our political history (for For example, breakdancing in 1971.up or the Islamization of Zia and martial law, or the dismissal of Musharraf and detention of judges), Pakistani political system demonstrated remarkable resilience and ability for course correction.
One can only hope that Pakistan achieves political stability and hence national prosperity. But one The fact clear: if this country needs to be saved from complete political and constitutional collapse, the answer lies in both respect the de jure constitutional balance of power and accept political realities of actual balance of power for all elements of Pakistani power elite.
Regarding permission of in power imbalance between de jure civilian and de facto military power structures concerned is a gradual historical process and will require compromises on the part of all elements of in power elite.
The writer is a lawyer.
Published in Dawn, May 7, 2022