Constitutional right but …

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FORMER Prime Minister and Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said on Wednesday it was his party’s constitutional right to dissolve the Punjab and KP assemblies.

His comments came after the opposition in the provincial assembly moved a no-trust resolution against the incumbent Chief Minister Ch.

Pervez Elahi while Governor Muhammad Balighur Rehman asked the CM to seek a vote of confidence from the house, two moves aimed at preventing the dissolution of the assembly, at least, in the immediate context as Imran Khan had threatened to do so on Friday.

There is no denying the fact that the Constitution vests powers with the Chief Minister of any assembly to advise the Governor to dissolve the house but the moves to counter the dissolution are also perfectly within the framework of the Constitution.

The political crisis in the province has deepened mainly because of the tendency on the part of some leaders and parties to interpret the constitutional provisions to suit their scheme of things but the province has been suffering for the last many months due to lopsided interpretation of the Constitution both by some parties and also the judiciary.

The Governor summoned a session of the provincial assembly requiring the Chief Minister to seek a vote of confidence as he believed that Ch.Pervez Elahi has lost the numbers’ game in the house but the Speaker has challenged powers of the Governor in this regard on the plea that the Governor cannot summon a session when the house is already in session.

The Speaker might have a point but it is also a fact that the Punjab Assembly is continuously in session ever since Balighur Rehman became Governor of the province fearing that he might ask him to get a vote of confidence.

The assembly is in a mode of perpetual session but it held just eight sittings during this long period clearly proving malafide intention on the part of the ruling coalition in Punjab because in this way the Governor will never be able to exercise his constitutional power and a CM, who doesn’t enjoy the confidence of the majority would remain in power for an indefinite period, frustrating the relevant constitutional provisions.

As the biggest province of the country has been left at the mercy of the circumstances, it is duty of the judiciary to rise above the political divide and interpret the Constitution purely on merit as rule of law has been jeopardized by vested interests.