Opposition’s justified demand

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IN the backdrop of a whispering campaign in favour of presidential form of governance in the country, the opposition in the National Assembly has demanded a thorough debate on the issue to settle it once for all.

Speaking in the House on Friday, PML (N) stalwart Ahsan Iqbal, who is known for his sober views and posture, condemned the idea being promoted by some circles for replacement of the existing parliamentary system and his views were endorsed by PPP’s Agha Rafiullah.

The combined opposition has made its position fully known on the issue as a day earlier it submitted a resolution to the National Assembly Secretariat expressing the resolve to uphold and strengthen the federal parliamentary system in the country as provided in the 1973 Constitution.

There was, however, no response from the treasury benches or allies of the Government but one hopes the situation would become clear when the resolution is debated in the House.

The rumours about the presidential system are, indeed, deplorable as they are aimed at creating doubts and confusion about the existing parliamentary system, which constitutes part of the foundational structure of the 1973 Constitution, a consensus document that has held the country together for decades.

We have been emphasizing in these columns, time and again, that there is absolutely nothing wrong either with the parliamentary or the presidential form of governance as both the systems are delivering as per expectations and aspirations of the people in civilized countries.

Both the systems have brought stability to many countries but the level of success is directly linked to the level of commitment to the rule of the law and the Constitution, which is lacking in our country.

The system would produce the desired results only if the scheme of things envisaged in the Constitution is upheld by all stakeholders, all organs and institutions of the state perform their responsibilities while remaining strictly within the bounds of the Constitution and autocratic tendencies are curbed.

It is regrettable that even after 75 years of independence; we are still debating which system suits the country whereas there is dire need to strengthen the existing system which could not deliver due to lust for power.

There should, therefore, be a constructive debate on the resolution moved by the opposition parties and Parliament should renew its pledge to uphold the constitutional scheme of things.

 

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