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- Thursday, January 17, 2013 - From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: A careful study of demands of Dr Tahirul Qadri, who is leading a sit-in in the famous D-Chowk of Islamabad, shows that though some of his demands are realistic and constitutional, most of them are unconstitutional, unrealistic, non-implementable and thus majority of analysts believe that Dr Qadri wants to give power to some unknown forces by destabilising the whole system.


After long and intense deliberations, all political forces of the country have evolved a constitutional mechanism for the appointment of the members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) through 18th Amendment. All the present appointments of ECP members and CEC have been made through this mechanism and no political force, including the most critical PTI, has ever criticized these appointments before Tuesday. Besides reservations of PTI on Tuesday, party’s chief Imran Khan had even publicly endorsed the appointment of Fakharuddin G Ebrahim as CEC. Major demand of Dr Qadri is dissolution of ECP, which is unconstitutional and impossible under any circumstances. In words of top constitutional expert, Salman Akram Raja, this demand is not only unconstitutional and not worth even being considered. It deserves to be condemned.


The second major demand of Dr Qadri is sacking of PPP-led coalition government in the centre simply eight weeks before it is to complete its five-year term. All the top analysts believe that it had been a desire of the top PPP leadership to somehow manage to “embrace martyrdom” before completing its term in government. Five years rule of the PPP government is a story of mega corruption, scandals and worst bad-governance. Sending PPP government home simply few days before completion of its term is being dubbed as an attempt to create sympathy in hearts of people. Majority of analysts argue that for the first time the people of Pakistan are getting ready to hold accountable a democratically elected government which will complete its five years tem.


Dr Qadri also wants sacking of all provincial governments. Governor rule has already been imposed in Balochistan while governments in other provinces have also started packing to leave after few weeks. No doubt that political forces across the world demand sacking of governments on some alleged charges but Dr Qadri’s demand to send federal and provincial governments home a few days before expiry of their terms seems an attempt to benefit some clever and shrewd political forces in the country.


Dr Qadri’s next demand is to appoint caretaker government (in fact only caretaker PM is appointed and rest of the cabinet is appointed with his consultation) in consultation with judiciary and army. All political forces have also devised a comprehensive and flawless mechanism for the appointment of caretaker prime minister and caretaker chief ministers through 20th Amendment. Whereas on the one hand Dr Qadri stresses the need to strictly adhere to the Constitution, on the other hand he make this unconstitutional demand and repeats it quite often without any hesitation. Few believe that state institutions could be unofficially consulted on such issues but there is no doubt in any mind that same will be unconstitutional.


None of the above three major demands repeated by Dr Qadri on daily basis have anything to do with electoral reforms. As none of these demands could be accepted by political forces, for being unconstitutional and non-implementable, it is considered that real agenda of Dr Qadri is to derail the democratic system and to strengthen the hands of a few hidden forces so either they can directly come into power or can negotiate with the weaker rulers in Islamabad on their own terms.


Package of demands of Dr Tahirul Qadri also includes implementation of article 62 and 63 of the Constitution so as to oust some corrupt candidates, loan-defaulters, fake degree holders before the holding of general elections. According to Dr Qadri, these corrupt but powerful characters of our political system got elected again and again on basis of their money and might. Dr Qadri says that two-days to raise objections on the candidature of any contesting candidate are very less and thus such people succeed to reach the assemblies.


These demands of Dr Qadri, no doubt, are good demands. But, whole thing seems to be managed and well scripted as his major demands are non-implementable and majority of Pakistanis believe these should not be implemented under any pressures or circumstances. It is getting apparent now that if Dr Qadri sticks to him non-implementable demands, those with opposite views will also take to streets and there will be total chaos.


Majority of analysts believe that systems can never be changed overnight and any such change is never sustainable. These analysts believe that only continuity of the system through holding of general elections in time will sort out all problems and flaws being pointed out by Dr Qadri.