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Baladast kon? Awam ya koi aur?

ہمارے میڈیا میں موجود دوست، شیخ رشید، اعجاز الحق، عمران خان اور جنرل( ر) حمید گل جیسے صفر نمائندگی رکھنے والے لوگوں کو بلا کر تواتر سے جمہوریت مخالف ٹاک شوز کرنے کی توجیہ یہ بیان کرتے ہیں کہ لوگ یہی دیکھنا ااور سننا چاہتے ہیں، اور وہ یہ عوام کی خواہش اور پسند کی وجہ سے کررہے ہیں، اس طرح وہ اپنے غیرمعیاری اور گمراہ کن پروگرامز کی ریٹینگ اور ریونیو کا معاملہ بڑی آسانی سے عوام کی طلب سے منسلک کردیتے ہیں۔

لیکن حقیقت اس سے زرا محتلف اس وجہ سے ہے کہ ایک جمہوری معاشرے میں میڈیا کا کردار کثیرالجہت صورتوں کا حامل ہوتا ہے۔ جہاں وہ ایک آئینہ ہے، وہاں وہ ایک جدید فکر کو ہموار کرنے میں ایک انتہائ اہم کردار ادا کرنے والا زریعہ بھی ہے، اسی کے زریعے معاشرے میں اتفاق راۓ کا حصول ممکن ہے، بدقسمتی سے میڈیا اپنی تمام طرح آذادی کے باوجود کسی بھی معاملہ میں اتفاق راۓ پیدا نہ کرسکا، بلکہ اس نے گمراہی اور انتشار میں اضافہ کیا ہے۔

ساؤتھ ایشین فری میڈیا ایسوسی ایشین(سیفیما) کی ٹیم امتیاز عالم کی سربراہی میں پاکستان کو درپیش اہم ترین سوالات پر انتہائ بامعنی اور بامقصد سیمینارز اور مزاکروں کا اہتمام کررہی ہے، جن میں اداروں کا تصادم اور پاکستان میں جمہوریت کا تسلسل، عدلیہ اور انتظامیہ کا ٹکراؤ ہمیں کس سمت لے کر جا رہا ہے، اور پاکستان میں عوام کی منشا برتر ہے یا کوئ اور؟ جیسے موضوعات پر سیر حاصل گفتگو کی گئ ہے۔

گزشتہ روز سیفیما اور اے آر واۓ ٹی وی کے اشتراک سے پاکستان میں عوام کی منشا برتر یا کوئ؟ کے موضوع پر ایک مزاکرے کا اہتمام کیاگیا، جس میں ڈاکٹرمحمد وسیم نے عالیمانہ اور دانشوارانہ انداز میں اس اہم سوال کی وضاحت کی، جس کا جواب یورپ صدیوں قبل تلاش کر چکا ہے کہ عوام ریاست کو تغلیق کرتے ہیں، اور وہی مقتدرہ ہیں اور ان کے منتخب نمائندے ان کی طرف سے دئیے گۓ ووٹ کے زریعے اختیارات کو استعمال کرتے ہیں۔ مگر بدقسمتی سے ہمارے جرنیل، جج صاحبان اور صحافی دوست اس تسلیم شدہ جمہوری اصول کو ماننے کو تیار نہیں، وہ اب بھی عوام کو بے وقوف، جاہل اور ان کے نمائندوں کو کمتر تصور کرنے کے فرسودہ اصول کو پھیلانے میں دن رات مصروف ہیں۔

ڈاکٹرمحمد وسیم نے موجودہ عدلیہ کومتنازعہ قرار دیتے ہوۓ کہا کہ موجودہ عدلیہ نے معاشرے اور سیاست کو تقسیم کردیا ہے اور اس کے بارے مین دو تصوارات پاۓ جاتے ہیں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ پہلے اپوزیشن جماعتیں اقتدار کے لۓ غیر پارلیمانی قوت فوج کی طرف دیکھتی تھیں اور اب عدلیہ کی طرف۔

اس مزاکرے میں تحریک انصاف کے مرکزی سیکرٹری اطلاعات شفقت محمود نے اسٹیبلشمنٹ کے غیر جمہوری فرسودہ نظریات کو توڑ مروڑ کے جدید پیکنگ میں پیش کرنے کی کوشش کی، جس میں وہ کامیاب نہیں رہے۔ ان کی جماعت کے ‘انصافی’ ٹوکرے میں وہی اسٹیبلشمنٹ کے پرانے فارمولے ہیں، جن کو عوام خریدنے کے لۓ تیار نہیں۔

اگر ٹی وی ٹاک شوز میں ڈاکٹرمحمد وسیم جیسے لوگوں کو بلایا جاتا رہا تو یہ فکری مغالطہ ختم ہو جاۓ گا کہ لوگ فکرو دانش پر منبی گفتگو کی بجاۓ بے ہودگی سننا چاہتے ہیں۔

ہم اس مزاکرے کی ویڈیو ذیل میں پیش کررہے ہیں

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jToUmUGzoqU


Judiciary has become controversial: SAFMA

LAHORE: Judiciary has become controversial because it is legislating through its verdicts, said speakers at a discussion on ‘Who is Sovereign?’

The South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) organised the event on Friday. LUMS faculty member Dr Muhammad Waseem and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary Information Shafqat Mehmood were the key speakers on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Waseem said the Supreme Court was doing ‘judicialisation of democracy’ as the un-elected institution ‘judiciary’ was trying to penetrate into politics by setting aside the legislature. He said the people were sovereign because they showed their will through elected representatives. He said the discussion was going on in many countries that who was sovereign.

“In the UK, the politicians discussed that parliament was sovereign while in the US, the constitution was being discussed as sovereign. In Pakistan, the critics quoted the example of the US that the constitution was sovereign but originally the people’s will was sovereign,” he added.

“The judiciary is legislating by giving verdicts,” he said, adding that the judiciary thought that the constitution was its last refuge so the former was using the latter as an instrument to undermine parliament. He said even the politicians have weakened the basic structure of democracy and the parliament which wanted to bring change in the society because they always looked towards the un-elected institutions like the army and the judiciary during crisis. He said the institutional imbalance had expanded in Pakistan and the independence of judiciary was made personal rather than institutional. In Pakistan, Mehmood said, every institution thought that it was sovereign but this concept or thinking was altogether wrong because they had limitations. He said some undemocratic institutions were trying to overpower the democratic institutions. He said every institution should work within its parameters.

Source: Daily Times

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Junaid Qaiser

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  • Who is sovereign in Pakistan?

    By:Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi

    Depends on who you ask…

    Sovereignty is an imprecise concept because its operationalisation in the form of institutions and processes is a complex affair. It is easy to say that sovereignty belongs to the people or to God Almighty. They key issues are where would sovereignty be located in a state? How would you create institutions and processes for management of sovereignty? The location of sovereignty may vary from a state to state, depending on the nature of the political system and the constitution.

    A democratic political system talks of representative governance and the people exercise sovereignty through their elected representatives. This means that sovereignty is located in the elected legislature. The elected representatives maintain close contact with the people in their constituencies who are sovereign in theoretical terms. The parliament does not become all powerful because it shares power and authority with other state institutions under the constitution and law of the country concerned. However, being the representative of the people the parliament has precedence over other state institutions.

    In Pakistan, the theoretical formulation and location of sovereignty has caused controversies for two major reasons. First, at the operational level the supreme political power and authority has been used by different institutions. Second, there is a widespread tendency among the political class to view sovereignty as a textbook concept and it is often employed for advancing partisan political agendas.

    Historically speaking, sovereignty was located in the constituent assembly and national assembly during 1947-58 and different political parties and key officials competed with one another to strengthen their hold over power of the state.

    During the periods of four military rules, the chief martial law administrator and his top brass controlled the sovereign authority of the state because their words were law and the people generally accepted their commands. During Zia-ul-Haq’s military rule, Zia and his close military associates co-opted orthodox religious clergy. The orthodox clergy and militant Islamic groups gained a lot of power and authority during the years of Zia’s military rule.

    Sovereignty returned to elected parliament during civilian elected rule. However, since 2009, the elected parliament and the executive are facing a challenge to their authority from the Supreme Court. This is in addition to the traditional pressures from the military.

    The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has publicly rejected the notion of primacy or superiority of the elected parliament, arguing that the Supreme Court has the power to make sure that all institutions of the state stay within the framework of the constitution This raises a fundamental question if the Supreme Court has unlimited power to reprimand every state institutions and functionary, restrained only by the conscience of the judges, its words become constitution and law. This implies that the judges exercise the sovereign authority of the state which negates the preamble of Pakistan’s constitution that stipulates the exercise of state authority and power by the representatives of people.

    The preambles of all regular constitutions of Pakistan (1956, 1962 and 1973) assign sovereignty all over the universe to God Almighty. The people exercise this authority as a sacred trust within the limits prescribed by Him. This exercise of power and authority is to be done through the chosen representatives.

    This means that authority and power of the state is located in the elected parliament, making it the salient institution as compared to the bureaucracy, the military and the judiciary, although these institutions have their domains of authority under the constitution and law.

    One key issue in Pakistan is how to determine that a law or executive action does not violate the teachings and principles of Islam. Most religious leaders wanted this power to be assigned to a committee of religious scholars. However, the parliament decided to retain this power with itself. Alternatively, the law or executive action can be challenged in the High Courts or the Federal Shariat Court (established by General Zia’s military government) or the Supreme Court. The Council of Islamic Ideology is a recommendatory body only.

    This means parliament is not sovereign by itself but sovereignty is located in it for the purpose of exercising power and authority under the sovereign status of state. No other state institution has this status which needs to be respected by other state institutions. The superior judiciary has the power to interpret the constitution but while doing this it needs to acknowledge the privileged position of the parliament as given by the constitution. The superior judiciary needs to examine if it is not entering the domain of the elected executive and elected parliament by its actions like fixation of sugar price (September 2009) or lifting price ceiling for samosa (July 2012) and transfer of officials. Both the elected political leadership and the superior judiciary have to observe restraint and show deference towards each other.

    The other problem is that a large number of people in Pakistan are extremely sensitive about sovereignty when it comes to interaction with India, the US and other western countries. However, when Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups violate Pakistan’s sovereignty by launching armed attacks on state institutions, functionaries and citizens, they stay quiet.

    If drone attacks violate Pakistan’s sovereignty, the attack on the institutions and personnel of Pakistan state by militant groups is also a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

    All states are sovereign but the exercise of sovereign rights in international politics depends on internal political cohesion and economic strength of a country. Further, a country must be positively linked with the international system in order to assert its independent and sovereign status. Sovereignty is not protected by aggressive posture towards the outside world but by positive engagement with the rest of the world and peace at borders. The modern communication technologies and voluntary acceptance of international obligations have also diluted the classical notion of sovereignty.

    The current confrontation in Pakistan on the exercise of the ultimate authority is a dangerous power struggle between the elected and non-elected state institutions. Both sides can pull together arguments in their favour. This debate is similar to the debate on military rule. Some people have supported military rule in the past and perhaps would like the military to return to power because they despise political leaders. This controversy about military rule did not solve Pakistan’s internal political, social and economic problems. The same is expected to be the consequence of the current confrontation between the executive and the judiciary. Internal divisions will accentuate.

    http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/08/01/comment/columns/who-is-sovereign-in-pakistan/

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