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Elected and unelected advisors and assistants

By: Anwar Roshan Ali

The brief decision, handed down by a two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court on Monday, could be seen as crucial in terms of the rights and entitlements of elected representatives of the people in a parliamentary democracy. And aides cannot be members or chairs of special cabinet committees. The government last year formed a Cabinet Committee on Privatization headed by Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Sheikh. Trade Advisor Abdul Razzaq Dawood and Institutional Reform Advisor Dr Ishrat Hussain were also present. PML-N MPA Iradat Sharif Khan, through Barrister Shahnawaz Ranjha, filed a petition in the court against the formation of the committee, on which the court declared the inclusion of the committee and unelected advisers illegal. In this regard, the notification issued by the government on April 25, 2019 was also canceled. According to the position taken by the prosecution regarding the committee and its members, it is a fixed principle under the constitution that only elected representatives of the people can govern Pakistan and the cabinet is elected from among the elected members of parliament. Consists of Prime Minister and Ministers. A person who is a Member of Parliament

No, he may not be a cabinet member or a member of his committee. Unlike ministers, advisers are not part of the federal government. He takes the oath of office and is not accountable to Parliament. In addition, they do not fall under the category of being eligible or ineligible under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, nor are they required to file a statement of assets. Such persons cannot be members of the Cabinet or its Committee. A two-judge bench of the apex court comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Ghulam Azam Qambrani reserved its judgment on September 9 after concluding arguments of the parties. A detailed decision will be announced a few days later. The court dismissed the petition against the appointment of five unelected special aides to the prime minister and ruled that the unelected advisers and aides could not exercise the administrative powers of the government. Only elected representatives of the people have the right to carry out ministerial functions. The Prime Minister may appoint a person as an advisor or assistant for consultations, but with the status of Minister or Minister of State, he cannot exercise executive powers under the 1973 Rules of Business. The impact of the Supreme Court decision on the privatization process is that the government will have to make alternative arrangements as it is serious about privatizing entities that are running at a loss and on the national exchequer. Are burdensome. However, the court decision in the case under discussion will strengthen parliamentary democracy, under which the affairs of the state can be run only through the elected representatives of the people. Unelected advisers and aides can give advice to the Prime Minister, they cannot issue any executive order on their own because they are not part of the government like elected representatives. In a parliamentary democracy, the elected representatives are the real ones responsible for the affairs because they are directly accountable to the people. However, in a presidential system, since the president himself is elected by popular vote, he can co-opt any of the eligible people, but even in this system, if there is an elected parliament, its members are preferred for government responsibilities. Is given.

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