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September 17, 2020

MPs opposing Islamic punishments violate Constitution, invite disqualification: ex-secy ECP

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September 17, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Any member of the parliament who opposes Islamic punishments or shows disrespect towards them cannot stay on as an MNA or senator and invites disqualification.

Former Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan Kanwar Dilshad told The News that the enforcement of Islamic law and Islamic punishments are pledged by the constitution and thus no member of parliament can oppose them.

He said that such opposition by any member of parliament is a negation of the constitution as well as of the oath taken by members of the National Assembly, Senate and provincial assemblies. Dilshad particularly referred to Article 2A, 61(3)(g) and Article 65 of the constitution to make his point.

He explained that Article 2A not only makes the Objectives Resolution a substantive part of the constitution but ensures that the principles and provisions set out in the Resolution “shall have effect” accordingly. He said that the constitution pledges that the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed and Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

The former Secretary ECP said that every member of parliament takes an oath pledging that “he will perform his functions honestly, to the best of his ability, faithfully, in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and that he will strive to preserve the Islamic ideology that is the basis for the creation of Pakistan.”

Dilshad said: “Opposing any Islamic punishment or showing disrespect to such a punishment is tantamount to a violation of the constitution and a negation of the oath.” He added that in such a situation, Article 63(1)(g), which deals with disqualification of members, comes into action.

The said article of the constitution, however, is linked with a court order and reads: “He has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for propagating any opinion, or acting in any manner, prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan, or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or morality, or the maintenance of public order, or the integrity or independence of the judiciary of Pakistan, or which defames or brings into ridicule the judiciary or the armed forces of Pakistan, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release.”