You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Interim govt. trying to make the SC 'validated' amendments a part of constituition

By Nasir Iqbal and Ashraf Mumtaz

ISLAMABAD / LAHORE, Feb 23: Controversy lies in store for the opening session of the new National Assembly as the interim government’s legal experts have decided to get printed a fresh edition of the Constitution, incorporating all amendments introduced by President Pervez Musharraf during the emergency rule.

The question haunting the PML-N and PPP’s legislators-elect alike is: will they take oath under the amended Constitution, which has been ‘validated’ by the Supreme Court?

Both parties have already rejected these amendments and termed them “unconstitutional and invalid”. They contend that the amendments have been made by an individual instead of the parliament.

The government insists the imposition of emergency (on Nov 3), the enforcement of the Provisional Constitution Order, sacking of judges and other steps taken by the president during emergency had been validated by the apex court and made part of the Constitution.

It also asserts that the legislators-elect taking oath under the amended Constitution would, by implication, be endorsing all these steps.

The PPP has said that it would not give a blanket cover to all steps taken by President Musharraf during emergency.

A PML-N leader said on Saturday that the matter was under consideration and some solution would be found by the time the National Assembly holds its inaugural session.

“Obviously (the new version of) the Constitution would contain Article 270AAA under which amendments made before and during the … emergency rule were given perpetual legal cover,” said a senior government official.
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