New Social Contract


Naseebullah Khan
The country has been in the grips of countless challenges such as terrorism, extremism, institutional imbalance, weak parliament, misgovernance, federal_provincial tussle, democratic decline, Pseudo media, economic fragility, etc. since its inception.Time and again, politicians, journalists, ex_civil servants, and intelligentsia have suggested a new social contract in the country, without evaluating three basic queries: 1. Among whom the new social contract will be___ between the ruler and the ruled or between the institutions? 2: while, what will be the fate of the existing constitution? 3: In the presence of an agreed document of the 1973 constitution, is there any necessity of a new social contract? While, in the constitution of 1973, there is no single challenge, whose remedies have not been provided. Policy options for every organ along with the individual have been pinpointed in it. Azhar Hussein Nadeem, an ex IG police in his book Pakistan: the politics of misgoverned says, “The new social contract to envisaged be based on the supremacy of law and constitution over all state institutions and individuals. This means the judiciary, the executive, and the military establishment will have to work within their constitutional parameters.” Whosoever pinpoints the challenges and suggests a new social contract, the remedies for the challenges have already been catalysed in the constitution. As an instance, Art 29 stipulates the principles of policy for every institution. Article 3 sheds light on the elimination of exploitation. Art 8 to 28 is about fundamental rights. Art 37 gives guidelines about the promotion of social justice. While Part v gives a detailed analysis of the relation between federation and provinces. Apart from this, the rules and responsibilities of high courts, the supreme court, the armed forces, and the executive have been highlighted. Despite it, many acts have ample solutions for the challenges e.g. the NECTA act, which is a milestone concerning the elimination of terrorism and extremism.It is not an extraordinary or emergency situation in the country that should not be dealt with by the current constitution and the rest of the laws. The issue is the dearth of implementation and not abiding by the constitution. If the constitution is not followed with true spirit, how could a new social contract be abode by? Yes. A dialogue is a must. A truth and reconciliation commission could be a ray of hope for identifying past mistakes. At least, the continuity of economic policies for 10 years would be a viable option that should be signed by all stakeholders under the umbrella of the constitution.Let evolve democracy and allow parliament to decide according to the book of law and the Supreme court being its custodian.