Army Chief General Asim Munir’s commitment not to interfere in politics and government during the National Security Committee meeting is highly appreciated. He reassured in his speech that “the decisions of the country and the nation will be made by the elected representatives of the people according to the Constitution.” The most important thing he said in his speech was, “Let us leave the new and old Pakistan aside and talk about our Pakistan, which means all of us.” The demand of the Constitution is also that the decisions of the country be made by the representatives of the people and by providing relief to the people, their problems and difficulties are reduced. The forum on which he spoke is also credible, esteemed and honourable, and there is a lot of enthusiasm for this forum these days, but the Constitution confines each institution within its limits and sanctifies it, setting its limits within bounds. Interference in these limits results in unconstitutional actions and then an endless series of unconstitutional actions begin, which violates the sanctity of institutions. The sanctity of Parliament has been constitutionally recognized, but the forum on which the Army Chief spoke is incomplete and lacks the presence of elected representatives of more than half of the nation’s population, and despite the order of the court to restore the members of PTI, the Speaker is not allowing them to enter the house. The sanctity of the elected assembly is not denied by anyone, but according to the rules of the Assembly, it must also be complete.
There is currently a tense atmosphere between the parliament and the judiciary. Senior government officials, including the Prime Minister and judges from the Supreme Court, are taking part in discussions. The Minister of Law is also involved and it is interesting to note that he is a lawyer himself. The Minister of Interior is also a student of law, but he is not behind in criticizing others. If an ignorant person makes fun of court decisions and judges, it is understandable, but if someone familiar with the Constitution and law says such things, it undermines the integrity of the institutions and the country’s justice system. If people lose confidence in the justice system, irreparable national damage will be done. Despite the autonomy of the institutions, the country’s justice system is based on the principle of justice. It is sacred in its boundaries, and if there is any violation of its boundaries due to political conflicts, it is regrettable. The simple principle from both sides should be that the parliament has its place and boundaries, and the judiciary is respected within its boundaries. But if it becomes a matter of “your judge and my judge,” it is a sad state of affairs, just as the pot is calling the kettle black.
To prevent this situation from getting worse, serious-minded and knowledgeable people need to play a role in resolving the crisis. Although the Constitution provides the best solution, there is a group that interprets the Constitution to serve their personal and political interests. The claim is made that the selection of institutions is sanctified, but there is still suspicion about transparent and impartial election processes within the constitutional framework. The second solution is the higher judiciary. In the past, whenever there was a constitutional, legal, political, or democratic dispute between the two parties, the judiciary made decisions that were accepted by both parties. Although one party may express reservations, the court’s decisions were not disputed, and it was not made a matter of conflict. This situation arose only because of the mentality of “your officer, my officer,” “your judge, my judge,” which started a long time ago with the phrase “your Pakistan, my Pakistan.” It is not an ancient issue. Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto, and Benazir Bhutto used to declare each other as security risks. But today, the Muslim League-N and the People’s Party are hand in glove. The question that arises is if the allegations against each other in the past were true, then today, neither of them remains truthful or trustworthy. As a result, they are not eligible for any public office in an institutional manner. Perhaps now we will hear the repetition of “your constitution and my constitution.”
An armed group had committed themselves to stay away from politics and government during General Raheel Sharif’s tenure and they have kept their resolution to this day. However, the guardians of national borders, guarantors of national security, and the fire brigade for enemies of the state have separated themselves from national affairs in such a way that even in the worst situations, the innocent should not be harmed, because then God is the owner of the country and the nation. Although the judiciary is the appropriate forum that has been resolving disputes following the spirit of the constitution during such delicate times, today even that forum has been made controversial. The judiciary only has the authority to make decisions, but the power to implement those decisions or to enforce action lies with a force, and the stick is in its hands. In this delicate but complex and serious situation, the same power of reconciliation can be exercised that also has the appropriate force to enforce decisions, and that force is only the army.
The state is currently going through a very critical situation, constitutional institutions are in a state of crisis, the struggle to hold maximum power is at its peak, interference in state institutions is common, who knows if there is also a conspiracy to weaken state institutions, the public is not worried, the public mandate is not respected, the heavy majority of the nation is being deprived of representation, only the army is an institution that can stabilize this alarming situation and bring everyone to the dialogue table, listening to each other’s opinions and finding a middle ground, after the Pakistan Movement, whenever such a crisis has arisen in the country, most of our politicians have shown sincerity, in the past, our politicians had gathered on a unanimous agenda, so now they can also come together to find a solution to all the country’s problems, the army chief can invite all warring politicians and lock them up in a room on the condition that they will not be allowed to leave until they find a mutually agreed solution to all the country’s issues, when to hold elections, which institution is responsible for interpreting the constitution, what are the limits and constraints of state institutions, how to avoid interference and protect the country’s security and geographical boundaries within theoretical limits.
We are fortunate to have a consolidated version of the Constitution in printed form, while the British Constitution is not in written form to this day. Therefore, lawmakers must adhere to the British Constitution, while our lawmakers are not familiar with the Constitution from A to Z and are searching for flaws in it. This situation is not suitable for national security. It is the responsibility of the armed forces to prevent any deviation from the spirit of the Constitution, and as the Army Chief rightly said, the focus should be on “Our Pakistan”.