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Constitutional Crisis in Pakistan, New Developments

By: Muhammad Ibrahim Bhatti

To end the constitutional and judicial crisis in the country, the government, PDM and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court have taken some steps on their own. This has led to a new situation which cannot be predicted ahead of time as to whether or not it will be fruitful. However, it is expected that overall it can help to overcome the current state of confrontation in the legislature and the judiciary, the two highest institutions of the country. According to the sources, an important development is that the Supreme Court Justice has started consultation to end the division among the judges of the Supreme Court. In this regard, he has held separate meetings with fellow judges. In order to eliminate the impression of differences among the judges and to create a consensus among them, the Chief Justice formed 9 benches for the judicial week starting from Monday. Somoto has included the judges who wrote dissenting notes in the case. Political and legal observers objected that the Chief Justice includes only his like-minded judges in his bench. With this move of theirs, these issues will be removed and the issue of division among the judges of the Supreme Court may be even. On the other hand, the federal cabinet could not decide to release the provision of 21 billion rupees for the Punjab Assembly elections, which was ordered by a three-member bench of the Supreme Court and it is considered to be a decision of a majority of three against two. It is that four judges have rejected it which means that this case has been rejected due to dissenting notices of four judges in 3 competitions. Therefore, the government is reluctant to release funds for the Punjab Assembly elections. It says how to accept the 3/2 decision by ignoring the 4/3 majority. Another important news is that the leaders of the ruling alliance PDM Mian Nawaz Sharif, Asif Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman have agreed that the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court will be done by a parliamentary committee. In this regard, he has discussed the amendment of the constitution and law related to the Judicial Council. According to legal experts, this proposal is to invite a new confrontation in the legislature and the judiciary and they also say that the government does not have the required majority for the constitutional amendment, but if there is a consensus on this issue between the government and the opposition. If it is done which seems impossible in the current situation then it can be hoped that the current crisis will be resolved. The series of steps taken by the Supreme Court Chief Justice to resolve the differences among the judges is definitely a positive step, but the steps taken by the government and the ruling political coalition are defensive in nature. The need of the United States is that the opposition should change its attitude in this matter and create an atmosphere of understanding through which the country can come out of crises. Pakistan is already suffering from severe economic crisis, in such a situation, if political, constitutional and judicial crises also occur, the problems of the people will increase further and the country which is already lagging far behind in terms of growth rate. The government will suffer more problems, political leaders and institutions will have to play their role to overcome this difficult situation. This is the question of the future of the country. Everyone has to work together to create ways to protect it.

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