Need Functionality of the Constitution


Ghulam Hyder Mugheri
In modern times, the state is unthinkable and inconceivable without a constitution of some kind. A constitution may be written or unwritten, in an unwritten constitution, like that of England these fundamental rules and principles are scattered over many documents, legislative enactments, judicial decisions and usages. In a written constitution, like that of Pakistan, USA, and India these fundamental rules and principles are embodied in one constitutional documents drawn up by a constituent Assembly or a similar constitutional making body. State as a political organization which is administered by a group of persons known as the government. When we say government of a state it means basically the executive the legislative and the judiciary. But this government cannot run the state according to their whim and caprice. There have been certain rules,regulations and principles on the basis and under the authority of which the government can run the state, this set of principles is called the Constitution, without it anarchy would result in the administration of the state. According to lord bryce ” The constitution of the state Consists of those rules or laws which determine the form of its government and the respective rights and duties of its towards its citizens and of the citizens towards the government” Our country has a long history of abrogation and suspension of constitutions. Our first constitution which came into enforceability after nine years of independence of Pakistan in 1956 was unfortunately abrogated in 1958, only enforceable two years, and our second Constitution which was promulgated by President Ayub on 1 March 1962 and finally came into effect on 8 June 1962. The Constitution contained 250 articles divided into twelve parts and three schedules. With the enforcement of this Constitution after 44 Months, Martial Law came to end, but that Constitution was also abrogated by General Yahya khan in 1969, and our third Constitution which was enforced on March 1973 under the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The 1973 constitution was distinguish in many things from those two previous abrogated Constitutions. In this piece of writing I will discuss that why our country is on the verge of devastation and destruction? and Which factors leading us to destabilization? I will say that, the root of those serious trouble and tribulations are that our Constitutional institutions are dismantled and are not functioning as per the provisions enshrined in the Constitution. We have many provisions of Constitution which looks so nice while reading them, but when we see their applicability or practicability, we are harshly disappointed For instance we have provisions of fundamental rights guaranteed in our 1973 Constitution , and the sole purpose of those fundamental rights are to act as a check on unlimited powers of state or arbitrary powers of state because the state authorities do not have unfettered and unbridled powers, they are subject to law and constitution , notwithstanding we have constitutional guarantees but we always witness gross violation of fundamental rights on daily basis. The principles of Rule of Law are enshrined in our constitution but practically rule of law is undermined as in the words of Oliver Goldsmith ” Law grind the poor and rich man rule the law.” Constitution requires our elected representatives to be dedicated person having moral conscience, legal awareness, commitment to democracy, and abiding faith to run the Government in accordance with the constitution and the law. They should be above greed or lust for power and refrain from violating Democratic norms and constitutional provisions, but what we witness, the elected representatives are busy in money making, corruption, money laundering , illegal occupation of private and government properties, having Benami properties, appointing the incompetent people to crucial posts through nepotism and favoritism and killing the very spirit of meritocracy. Article 158 is deliberately violated which says “provinces producing gas will receive gas in precedence over other provinces” Due share of budget is not transfered to federating units. This list of violation of constitutional provisions is too big to sum up in this column, but if we really want to see our country prosperous and develop then we have to fully maintain the supremacy of Rule of Law and obedience to Constitution and the state functionaries the executive, legislative and judiciary should work in harmony and within the constitutional limits and jurisdictions and one should not interfere and disrupt the other and let the principles of trichotomy of power(the idea to ensure that the state organs perform their respective functions within the stipulated limits and constraints) be upheld with Constitutional limits, and let the conflicts between federation and provinces on  administrative, economical, legal and political basis be harmonized and resolved purely on constitutional principles and provisions. Finally if our Constitution be fully functioned and applicable as per the provision of Constitution than no power on earth can shun us from the path of prosperity and development and in last the great Abraham lincoln has aptly said that  “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties”.

(-The writer is a law student, and Human Right Activist and columnist with special interest in socio-political and legal issues based in Larkana.)


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