TFD Stocks Overview

Collapse of institutions in Pakistan

It was midnight of 10 April 2022 when no confidence motion was passed with 174 votes which resulted in removal of Imran Khan as Prime Minister of Pakistan. The entire show was jointly managed by judiciary and law enforcement agencies. The Supreme Court under former Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial and Chief Justice Athar Minallah of Islamabad High Court (now Judge Supreme Court) opened their courts at mid night and to meet any emergency sizeable force was also deployed along with prison van. This was a unique method of bringing no confidence motion in the democratic history of Pakistan for the ouster of sitting Prime Minister. IK offered no resistance and left the PM House carrying just a small diary in hand. It was equally disturbing to see Shahbaz Sharif taking oath of Prime Minister when he was to be indicted in the morning in corruption case.
Enough has been written and discussed in talk shows about his selection as prime minister and role played by Gen Bajwa as admitted by him therefore no further comments on this matter. IK was in fact hostage in the hands of coalition partners and benefactor, the moment he tried to exert his authority that was resisted and he met his waterloo. He forgot the history those who hire has the power to fire. IK did not reconcile his ouster and decided to fight his case with in the frame work of Constitution of Pakistan. The power brokers were sure once IK is out of power he would be a forgotten entity, but to their utter surprise it was altogether different story. IK also could never imagine people coming in such large number to protest his ouster, that gave energy to IK and to take stand and fight his case. But his greatest blunder has been his criticism against the establishment, the one who advised him was not his friend but enemy. Another blunder has been to tender resignations from national assembly in the hope that ECP shall call elections. He still had the Punjab and KPK government in tact but failed to realize its importance and was trapped by government and so called well-wishers to dissolve the Punjab and KPK assemblies thinking ECP shall hold elections in 90 days. He did not listen advice of both the Chief Ministers and Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the hope that elections will be held in 90 days. He should have known ECP on wrong side could never favor elections in 90 days and would put number of excuses to delay the election and that what exactly happened. It is true that chairman PTI was following the constitution backed up by the SC but division in SC Judges and pressure of government with unfavorable establishment coupled with media being one sided created problems for PTI. Large number of cases were instituted against him, mainly Toshakhana and cypher case. On 9 May 2023 he was arrested from inside the Islamabad High Court by NAB on charges of corruption in connection with Al Qadir Trust case. Party called for demonstration throughout Pakistan. However, he was released on orders of Supreme Court. What happened on 9 May was very unfortunate and is highly condemnable and all those involved must face law. Attack on military installations was unbearable intolerable, that is not politics. It has been amply covered in media and matter is in the court, hence no comments can be offered.
On 5 August 2023 PTI Chairman was arrested from his Lahore residence to undergo three years’ imprisonment in jail and disqualified from politics for corrupt practices, sale of state gifts purchased legally from Toshakhana as per practice but did not declare profit. Now roughly more than 180 cases have been filed against him as reported in the media to ensure he remains in jail for few years. The entire nation has witnessed how former CJ was criticized openly by PDM government and were vocal that they would not implement decisions of the SC. It was not question of CJ but it was open challenge to the writ of SC. Fearing action against their wrong doings while the case was in progress passed law clipping the powers of CJ in forming the benches and taking sou moto. The SC already stood divided and the division was so obvious that it damaged over all image of higher judiciary. PDM wanted formation of benches of judges of their own choice thus making it clear that politics has also seeped in the superior court. However, people were waiting for new CJ to stop on going confrontation and establish its writ. Justice Qazi Faiz Isa took oath on 17 September 2023 as the 29th CJ of Pakistan. As expected he immediately signaled that he is a different breed of jurist. The very first order issued to live broadcast of court proceedings on national TV first time in the history of Pakistan was hailed by general public, but it also exposed weaknesses of our higher judiciary. Exchange of unpleasant words amongst honorable judges was not in good taste. While allowing TV coverage we forgot that anatomy of human body is known to everybody but we still cover it. There are certain things that cannot be discussed in open.
It was expected that biggest issue the Chief Justice would take up was violation of Constitution on the part of ECP not holding elections in 90 days and giving new time frame to hold elections and for which former CJ was criticized. The elections have been the main issue and were supposed to be held within 90 days as per Constitution, mandatory provision of Constitution has been violated, but CJ took up Practice Procedure Act 2023 and in open hearing remarked that Parliament passed SC law with good intentions. There is no dispute about parliament making laws but nothing can be enacted above law. Somehow or the other some important issues have been overlooked.SC Practice Procedure Act 2023 was made in retaliation to sou motto by former CJP against government for not holding elections within 90 days a grave violation of constitution of Pakistan. Secondly its timing was wrong it was mainly to put pressure on judiciary. Thirdly the bill was not discussed and passed hurriedly with few members present out of house of 342. Fourthly it was a case of constitutional amendment required two third majority and not simple majority. Fifthly it should have been debated long time ago not when SC was hearing the case. What if the court takes up a matter of Parliamentary rules and Procedures tomorrow and starts dictating how the Parliament should conduct its affairs? Therefore, with the above observations it cannot be termed as good intention by the government, it is also against the spirit of the constitution. If this is accepted there will be no end to enact laws to safeguard personal interests, in any case any law which protects few individual’s rights and person specific can be struck down by SC, the only authority to interpret the constitution lies with the SC and must be retained at all costs.
SC has declared Practice and Procedure act 2023 as constitutional by 10-5 majority establishing the supremacy of the parliament but at the same time ignored grave violation of Constitution by the government not holding elections in 90 days the real cause of sou moto and hurriedly passing Practice and Procedure Act 2023. Technically powers of CJ have been curtailed but retained in a different manner by CJ who will be heading himself the bench with judges of his own choice. There has never been nor there could be any dispute by anybody parliament making laws for the wellbeing of people of Pakistan but if it is selective in nature and protecting certain beneficiaries it cannot be supported. President Arif Alvi having denied assenting the bills should have been the main case for full bench to hear and investigated instead implementing the decisions of Parliament not vetted by the President. Present judgement of the SC has confirmed division amongst the judges is no more a secret. Question agitating minds of people remains unanswered who will protect and save the constitution that has been violated leaving to its interpretation suiting to individual conveniences. ECP has not given any date of elections except mentioning month of Jan 2024, that raises many questions and has damaged the credibility of ECP, the date has not been mentioned perhaps to delay it further. Clouds of political instability are further deepening; the only solution lies in saving constitution by holding free fair and transparent elections in 90 days without listening to ECP’s politically motivated excuses. All eyes are focused on the Supreme Court of Pakistan the only hope of people of Pakistan to take the country out of present self-created crisis.