Pak Affairs Politics

Constitutional institutions feel no threat under democratic set-up: Babar

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan said on Friday that no constitutional institution should feel any threat in the presence of an elected parliament and a democratic set-up. Addressing a press conference here he said the PPP-led government was well aware of its constitutional and legal obligations and would work for strengthening of institutions.

“Rest assured, the PPP-led government will take no ultra constitutional or un-constitutional steps. We cannot assure that we will please everyone but it is certain that rule of law and constitution will be guaranteed,” he added. “The democracy is a sign of life, due to which people other than us enjoy greater freedom,” he added. He said a judicial stay was already in place on Sindh High Court Bar Association’s case and the second was issued by the apex Court on Friday..

“Do judicial orders ever require executive orders” he questioned. He said how it was possible that they did not know the efficacy of Article 6 of the Constitution, pertaining to trial of a person under treason. He said that they were aware of the effectiveness of Article 6 when a dictator violated and abrogated the constitution for nine years and was not tried.
“We are victims of Article 6 and victims of ultra and un-constitutional steps. No one should expect that we will bring further ECOs and PCOs etc,” he added.

The Minister for Law said that certain elements last night tried to politicize the issue to further their interests by spreading the news of withdrawal of executive order regarding restoration of the judges of the superior judiciary.
He said the executive head of government came forward and denied it.

“The Prime Minister is the elected leader of parliament and you should have trust in his words,” he added.
He maintained that the Prime Minister functioned under Rules of Business and it was not his job to indulge in litigation rather it was done through the Ministry of Law.

Referring to office of President he questioned whether it was not a constitutional office? Was he not the supreme commander of the armed forces? Or not elected by two-third majority of parliament? He said accountability and adherence to law must be above board.

He said “the judicial orders should speak and not TV tickers.” Dr Babar said those institutions which were not allowed constitutionally to indulge in politics, should avoid it. “If anyone feels that he is popular among masses, he should quit the perks and privileges,” he added.

The person who abrogated the constitution was given extension to rule the country, he added. To a question regarding yesterday night media reports he said the act of hiding evidences was a cognizable offence under the law and Islamic Shariah. He said those who knew names of such persons behind the event should disclose them.

He advised media to observe their code of conduct when breaking such news. He said every functionary of the government was available for comments. To another query he replied that defamation laws in Pakistan were ineffective and required amendments under the contemporary laws and requirements.

He said the accountability courts were functional and if anybody had complaints against them, they should approach them.
“Those elements who were crying for accountability in the last nine years are now residing outside the country,” he added.
Brushing aside any confrontation with the political parties he said the PPP-led government strongly believed in the reconciliation process. Replying to another question he said they supported Asghar Khan’s plea for early hearing of his case.-APP

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Mubashar Nizam

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