Unacceptable attack

KARACHI: It was indeed sad to see and hear political leaders on the electronic media on 17th January, 2018 sending curses to parliament of which they are members.

As parliamentarians, political leaders are fully entitled to criticise the government and its functionaries both in and outside parliament in political speeches but sending curses to parliament as an institution is unheard of and totally unacceptable.

The Constitution of Pakistan under which parliamentarians take oath starts with a preamble which, inter alia, states that sovereignty over the universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone and the authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan is a sacred trust and that the state exercises its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people.

It was in pursuance of the preamble that the people of Pakistan acting through their representatives in the National Assembly, adopted, enacted and gave to the people of Pakistan the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

History records and recognises several political leaders and statesmen as outstanding parliamentarians. Winston Churchill and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah clearly fall in this category. Jinnah was an eminent parliamentarian and during his days in London he attended sessions of the British Parliament regularly and watched the performance, manners and conduct of parliamentarians.

Several qualities of Muhammad Ali Jinnah as a parliamentarian have been documented, including his strategy, keen insight, able advocacy, clear representation, power of reasoning, balanced judgment and undaunted constructive criticism. Jinnah had great respect for parliament and parliamentary traditions.

Political differences exist among political leaders in all countries of the world and political leaders are free to express their views and disagreements with the views of other political leaders but all this has to be done with decorum and dignity. Criticism is healthy provided it is constructive and not destructive in nature.

Liaquat H Merchant

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2018.

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