March 17 2022
By Ahmed Saeed
A formation of a national government in the country for five years without fresh elections will be unconstitutional, said leading constitutional experts while responding to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif’s suggestion.
In a recent interview, Shahbaz Sharif, Leader of Opposition in National Assembly, has reiterated his personal view about the formation of the national government, excluding the ruling Pakistan Tehrik Insaf, for five years. The opposition leader’s suggestion of a national government has kicked up a new debate in political circles ahead of a no-trust resolution against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry has termed the proposal for the formation of the national government as unconstitutional, accusing Shahbaz Sharif of violating his oath as a member of the National Assembly by making such a statement.
Speaking to Voicepk.net about the constitutional status of the formation of a national government, eminent senior lawyers were of the view that such a government could be formed only after fresh elections. According to them, any system of government without elected assemblies would be unconstitutional.
Hamid Khan, former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, said the formation of a government without elections based on the model of Bangladesh would be an extra-constitutional act. However, Khan said he was unsure whether the judiciary, which had weakened considerably, would be able to resist such a scenario or not.
In his opinion, Munir A Malik, another former president of the SCBA, said that if a supra cabinet was formed to run the country in the name of the national government, it would be unconstitutional. He hoped that the Supreme Court would declare such a national government null and void.
Justice (retired) Tariq Mahmood said that the formation of a five-year national government was possible only after the next general elections.
Giving his view on the proposed national government, former attorney general Ashtar Ausaf said that Shehbaz Sharif had always expressed his interest in working with consensus. “Shehbaz Sharif wants to form a government in which the best people of all parties are represented,” Ausaf told Voicepk.net.
However, the former attorney general acknowledged that such a national unity government could be formed only after fresh elections, adding that setting up a national government by any other means would be an unconstitutional act.
Speculations about the country’s democratic future have intensified following the opposition’s submission of the no-confidence motion. In this regard, the Supreme Court Bar Association has also approached the Supreme Court, requesting it to issue a court order for all the institutions to abide by the Constitution.