A Staff Report in the Daily Times leaves me very troubled. The report in question quotes senior lawyer Abdul Hafeez Pirzada saying that the Supreme Court can seek the help of the Army to carry out NRO verdicts. I find this troubling because it could throw the nation into an unnecessary constitutional crisis.
Here is the direct quote from The Daily Times report:
“The SC can seek the army chief’s help for the implementation of verdicts,” Pirzada told reporters at the SC while commenting on the detailed judgement on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). “There is an antecedent … former chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah sought the army chief’s help,” he said. He rejected the impression that a court directive to the army would seem like an invitation for taking charge of the government.
What is most interesting is that Mr. Pirzada’s statement is based on Article 190 of the Constitution which says, “All executive and judicial authorities through out Pakistan shall act in aid of the Supreme Court.”
Also, Article 41(6) of the Constution says, “The validity of the election of the President shall not be called in question by or before any court or other authority.”
By suggesting that the situation may come that the SC uses Article 190 to make the Armythe depose the democratically elected President, the lawyer is inappropriately pushing towards a coup that is not only antidemocratic but a violation of Article 41(6).
This is a combination of powers that is not only unnecessary but dangerous. It is important to the stability of the nation that as the NRO process continues that everything is carried out with both common sense and the attitude that the best path is one that strengthens the democracy.