Bilawal rues judiciary’s ‘double standards’

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari criticised the “double standards” of the judiciary on Sunday and stressed that the establishment had now become an “invisible part” of the Constitution

Addressing a ceremony organised by the PPP Karachi Division in the Sindh Assembly in connection with the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the 1973 Constitution, Bilawal called for unity among politicians to thwart the nefarious designs of undemocratic forces

Bilawal criticised the “double standards” of the superior judiciary and called for bringing it under the national accountability laws

“The superior judiciary of our country has double standards,” he said

Bilawal said that the “conspiracy to bring [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman] Imran Khan as the prime minister” was actually against the Constitution

He added that the forces that violated the Constitution did not want that the people get their rights

لائیو: آئین پاکستان کی گولڈن جوبلی کے حوالہ سے کراچی میں منعقدہ تقریب https://t

co/dQ4hIdoCwP — PPP (@MediaCellPPP) February 26, 2023 “A selected was launched, a puppet prime minister was brought in to end our political reconciliation,” he said, referring to the Charter of Democracy signed by former prime ministers late Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif

“This person [Imran] was brought in to conspire against the Constitution

They had problem, not with the 18th Amendment, but with the Constitution

“He believed that he was not made the prime minister to fix the price of tomatoes and potatoes

” he said

“We removed that puppet prime minister through the Constitutional means

Though we have removed this prime minister constitutionally, his thinking has still not changed,” he continued

The foreign minister lamented that today judiciary and the media remained divided and warned that this situation suited the undemocratic forces

“As long as we keep fighting, someone else will take advantage,” he warned further

According to the PPP chairperson, the most important problems facing the common man were inflation, poverty and unemployment, adding: “If we keep on fighting each other, people’s problems will increase and terrorists will take advantage of this situation

” The way the superior judiciary was functioning with double standards, “how long will it last”, Bilawal asked

“A prime minister from Larkana [the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto] was hanged and no justice was served till date,” he said

Also read: At least 4 killed in Balochistan's Barkhan blast “The judiciary has made mockery of itself for a prime minister from Zaman Park [a reference to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan]

“This dual system cannot work, we will not tolerate it

” The PPP chairperson also fired a broadside against Imran

“This one person divided judiciary, media and the establishment,” he said, adding however that “this person is gone, but the thinking that brought him [to power] is there”

“Imran Khan did not work for the betterment of the country

People are suffering the consequences [of his three-year tenure in the government]

“We don't know how long we will face the consequences of the damage done in those three years

” According to the foreign minister, for this one “blue-eyed person” an attempt was made to tweak and rewrite the Constitution

“For how long will these sacred cows make the laws? If a common man speaks against the army and the judiciary, he will go to jail

” Touching the subject of the golden jubilee of 1973 Constitution, Bilawal recalled that the first resolution in favour of Pakistan was passed in the Sindh Assembly and a prime minister from Sindh [late ZA Bhutto] laid the foundation of the Constitution

“The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan is a contract between the Pakistani state and the Pakistani citizens

Pakistan is the country of democrats

The people have the right to vote because of the Constitution and the right to choose his own representative,” he said

Continuing, he said that the Constitution underwent many trials

Former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf attacked the Constitution

“NAB [National Accountability Bureau] applies to me and you, but not to them,” he said

“[The Pakistan] People's Party has been saying right from the beginning that NAB was created for political engineering

The judges did not see that

The law of NAB should also apply to the judiciary

Corruption occurs both in parliament and the judiciary,” he added

Bilawal praised the workers of the PPP, who fought against the two “selectors” [military rulers] and also sent “a selected one” home

He told the participants: “We have to protect the rights of the common man

We made the Constitution and we will protect it

” Speaking at the ceremony, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that defending the Constitution was the responsibility of members of the assemblies, members of the cabinet and the judiciary, while others were bound to follow the Constitution

He emphasised that parliament was supreme under the Constitution, and no case could be instituted against the prime minister, chief ministers and ministers

“But today, there are cases against almost every minister of the Sindh cabinet, including me,” he said

He mentioned that when the Constitution was framed in 1973, there were only three qualifications for a lawmaker—being a citizen of Pakistan, 25 years of age for national and provincial assembly elections, and 30 years of age for becoming a senator

Similarly, there were four disqualifications, including having dual citizenship, and of no sound mind

But then under the martial law of Gen Ziaul Haq, the qualifications were increased to seven

Conditions for disqualification were also raised from just four to 16

“Except my voters, no one else should decide whether or not I am honest, whether or not I follow the Islamic ideology,” Shah said, adding that article 62 and 63 of the Constitution about the qualification of a lawmaker, were not frequently used before 2010

“If I am elected, the term is five years

But if a sword hangs over my head that someone will disqualify me in 4 years and 364 days, and this has been happening for four years … how could legislature function freely

In this way the legislature was weakened

” Former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, senators Raza Rabbani and Nisar Khoro, federal minister Syed Khursheed Shah, Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqir, Justice Rashid A Razvi, Mahmood Sham, Yusuf Leghari and others also addressed the ceremony

Date:28-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link