Adv Khursheed Jatoi
After Partition in 1947, Pakistan became popular in its weak political institution and powerful army. Civil governments were dismissed under direct or indirect influence of army many times. Political institutions could not flourish and country remained under Martial law due to the conflicts among the political parties. Finally, we got a parliamentary form of Government under 1973 constitution with the balance of power towards the Prime Minister. The president could not exercise his power without the consent of Prime Minister. The 8th constitutional amendments, passed by the Senate on November 14, 1985 affected almost 19 clauses of the constitution and brought the office of President of Pakistan superior
with that of the Prime Minister. The president was given the right to nominate the Prime Minister, Governors of the provinces, and Judges of the High Courts, and Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice and chief of armed forces. Democratically elected Prime Minister thus became subservient to the President. After 8th amendment in 1973 constitution, though the President was to act on the advice of the prime minister, he had the powers to inform the prime minister about the decision relating to the administrative affairs of the federation and proposal of legislation. The president could ask the prime minister to get a vote of confidence from the assembly, issue ordinances; set dates of the election of
National Assembly and can appoint caretaker government. He could also call a referendum on issue of great national importance. However, the most controversial power awarded to president was the dissolution of the national assembly at his own discretion under the article 58(2) b. Thus, the constitution was transformed from a Parliamentary system to a semi presidential one. President General Zia Ul Haq dismissed the government of Muhammad khan Junijo and President Ishaq Khan the government of Benazir Bhutto by using their discretionary powers of 58(2) b. In 1990, General elections were conducted and Nawaz Sharif, the president of Islami Jamhori Itehad, was elected as Prime Minister
with two third majorities in the parliament. Peoples Democratic Alliance was the second largest party in this election but it could not make even a single provincial government. All provincial Government were made with the coalition of Islami Jamhori Itehad. Initially, there were cordial relations between newly elected Prime Minister and President Ghulam Ishaq Khan. Later, it was rumored that Prime Minister wanted to amend the constitution to undo the discretionary power of the president to the national assembly and to appoint the chief of armed forces. President could not bear all this at any cost,
where it began conflict between president and prime minister. So, this conflict went ahead in the form of dissolution of Nawaz Sharif government by the president.
(-The writer is a Advocate Khursheed Jatoi from kashmore sindh ).