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Hype for presidential system Idea proves to be non-starter from outset

January 22, 2022
Hype for presidential system Idea proves to be non-starter from outset

ISLAMABAD: The call of presidential system of government – a topic of debate in the country proved to be a non-starter from the outset after the government and opposition distanced from it.

Despite an inconsistent campaign for the change in the system, no clue is available as to why it has been launched and on whose behest the discussion is underway on the social media. No political party, legal fraternity, civil society and organisation representing professionals is supporting the highly controversial idea as the constitutional experts are of the view that any scheme which goes against the constitution’s parliamentary and Islamic character would demolish the basis of the constitution.

Well-placed parliamentary sources told The News on Friday that no proposal for discussion about change in the system had been received by the NA Secretariat from any member or group so far. The parliament is competent to discuss and consider any proposal with regard to any amendment of the constitution. But no basic change could be brought about in the constitution through the present assembly whose very creation was disputed and it has already elapsed two-third duration of its mandated period. For that purpose, country would need a fresh election of an assembly that had a mandate of reconstruction of the constitution. The sources reminded that during the PPP government, 18th Amendment of the constitution was adopted that brought about certain structural changes.

The idea of change in the system was believed to be a reaction against the 18th Amendment that had decentralized powers and resources to the lower echelon in the provinces. The distribution of resources and authority in the manner had made it difficult to generate funds in case of emergency. It could cause a threat to the security at times. And any change to address the issue within the constitution would be acceptable, the sources reminded.

The PPP, being architect of the 18th Amendment, staunchly opposes its dilution. Former prime minister Senator Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, who was at the helm of affairs when the 18th Amendment is passed, was of the view that the amendment was so beneficial that had it been in place before 1970, East Pakistan wouldn’t have opted for cessation from the West. PML-N views the presidential system as quasi martial law. The JUI-F too opposes any move that would change the basic structure of the constitution especially its Islamic parts. The sources reminded that a private TV channel (Not Geo) was trying to steer the campaign that enjoys proximity with the ruling party and its owner had been decorated by the government yet to be known national service.