Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pakistan's Constitutional Subversions

On February 18, 2007, the people of Pakistan elected two major anti-establishment political parties, giving them a mandate to restore high court judges whom Army Chief Prevez Musharraf had dismissed, and to re-establish the rule of law. The political parties that had supported the non-democratic establishment were defeated in the February general elections. Despite this triumph of democracy over dictatorship, Pakistans constitutionalism remains confused. Confusion has particularly gripped the dominant political party (PPP) that benefitted from the military rule to the extent that all criminal cases against the party chief, Asif Ali Zardari, were quashed. This manumission of the PPP Chief from criminal action created sympathies for the current Supreme Court, which validated constitutional subversion and the consequent removal of high court judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. This article argues that the rule of law cannot be established in Pakistan unless the ruling elites refrain from subverting the constitution for short-term benefits. Read More