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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Amjad_Malik
Full Name: Amjad Malik
User since: 15/Jun/2007
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UK Lawyers welcomed 18th amendment in the constitution and extended support to intra party elections principle.

 

Association of Pakistani Lawyers a team of Pakistani origin lawyers, Solicitors, Barristers, Judges in UK jointly have commended the members of Parliament on passing 18th amendment in the 1973 constitution of Pakistan which will revert back to the position of pre military regime era scrapping most of the 17th amendment which legalized military dictator’s legal frame work order for which the whole nation deserve to be applauded.

 

APL further extended support to intra party elections principle and noted the debate on repeal of clause 17(4) which is subject to huge debate and controversy and counter argument is not satisfactory.

 

APL noted the repealed clause Article 17 (4) which reads, (4) every political party shall, subject to law, hold intra-party elections to elect its office-bearers and party leaders.” However, APL further noted The Political Parties Act, 1962, which was repealed and replaced with The Political parties Order 2002 has a following has a clause 11 which says: “(1) The party leader and other office-bearers of every political party at the Federal, Provincial and local levels, wherever applicable, shall be elected periodically in accordance with party's constitution through secret ballot based on a democratic and transparent system, Provided that a period, not exceeding four years, shall intervene between any two elections”. APL noted that these provisions are still published at the Election Commission of Pakistan web site ensure that all parties hold elections every 4 years and the law of the land require the parties to holding intra party elections and APL extended support to the principle that all parties must ensure that the law is strengthened even if constitutional cover is lifted. If political parties pledges to nation of transparent accountability in their own ranks, that will ultimately ensure good governance at Govt and institutional fronts.

 

In the absence of constitutional guarantee, there is a risk that political parties which became victims of military dictators who slaughtered such parties by forming factions will become salves to civilian autocrats who will not allow the voice of dissent in their parties and any normal middle class contender will struggle finding a way to contest against their own leadership which is not at all desirable, and is against the spirit of democracy. That is not the dream and the vision of  country’s founding father barrister Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

 

Two party system is a national asset, but intra party election(s) are a means of internal accountability, check and balance and to review the progress of individual office bearers whether they still command the support of the party members. It is understandable that these parties have long fought tyranny but internal accountability through intra company elections will ensure promotion of true democratic spirit at grass root level and fresh leadership could be encouraged rather than maintaining dynasties. 

 

This is the time when Pakistani people have a chance to regroup and make this country a mirror image of the aspirations of millions who decided to join this new land at the time of independence in 1947 in a dream come true style, Nation was jubilant on 1998 for becoming an atomic power and now the nation is overjoyed if justice is ensured at the door steps of a common man.

 

APL asserted that implementation of  ‘Charter of Democracy’ and free judiciary is the key to restore true democracy in Pakistan and can restrict military intervention(s) and nip the ‘law of necessity’ in the bud. We all hope that Lawyers, media and Civil society’s contribution is fruitful to take Pakistan forward and make it progressive, welfare and Islamic state where unity faith and discipline is operated as a guiding principle.

 

 

Amjad Malik, MA, LLM

Solicitor-Advocate of the Supreme Court of England and Wales
Life Member SCBA (Pakistan)
Chair Association of Pakistani Lawyers (UK)

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