Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pakistan's Futile Constitutional Amendment

The 18th Hole:
Pakistan's Futile Constitutional Amendment

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) will soon propose to the Parliament the 18th amendment to the 1973 Constitution. The proposed amendment would reportedly abolish Article 58 (2)(b) of the Constitution, which empowers the President, in his sole discretion, to dissolve the National Assembly. The amendment would also strengthen Article 6 of the Constitution to punish judges who would in future support military coups and constitutional subversions.

This essay argues that the proposed 18th amendment is an exercise in futility. Unfortunately, no constitutional amendment will prevent future military adventurism unless the political and military leadership is committed to honor the Constitution. As discussed below, however, the culture of the ruling elites has no respect for the rule of law. Read More