ISLAMABAD, NOV 9 – A Pakistani-American has moved Supreme Court of Pakistan for the repeal of parliamentary democracy in the country and for the court’s directive to the Prime Minister to hold a referendum for the introduction of a Presidential form of government in Pakistan.
Currently living in New York, Mr. Hafeez-ur-Rehman Chaudhry on Monday filed a Constitutional Petition through Khalid Abbas Khan advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan, praying that the “matter in question may kindly be referred to the Prime Minister to hold a referendum in accordance with Article 48(6) of the constitution 1973 to obtain votes in Yes or No form.”
Khalid Abbas Khan, while briefing media, said that the petition has invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 184(3) of the constitution.
The petition states that the enormous problems faced by the country and people of the country could only be resolved through the introduction of a presidential form of government in Pakistan.
While making federal and provincial governments respondents, the petition states that parliamentary form of the government is the source of political instability in the country. With the introduction of parliamentary form of government the people of Pakistan have been deprived of political justice, which has been promised under the provisions of the constitution.
The petition states that under the constitution “the state has to exercise its power through the chosen representatives of the people” and there is no specific provision of the constitution which restricts that the chosen representatives have to be elected under a parliamentary system of government. This could be done under a presidential form of government either.
The petition in its content has presented a complete road map of the Presidential form of government, which it argues should be implemented in the country.
After the partition of India, Pakistan became an independent state and under Indian independence Act 1947, the government of India Act 1935 became the interim constitution of the country. The Act lacked certain provisions which were required for the functioning of independent government in an independent state. Therefore a constituent assembly was formed to draft a new constitution for the country. The process of constitution making started with a 9 years delay which was very disappointing.
Absence of priorities, palace intrigues and infighting resulted in inordinate delay in the process of constitution making in the country. The member parliament remained busy in infighting and unnecessary petty conflicts which resulted in the dissolution of the federal cabinets.
The petition states that the people of Pakistan have been deprived of political justice since independence, for instance the ruling parties in Pakistan have always secured less than 51 percent votes in elections which brought them to power. And minority rule is against the very essence of democracy.
The petition states that parliamentary form of government fuels political polarization in Pakistani society, which is divided along sectarian, religious and ethnic lines.