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Apr 08, 2022

'New Hope for the Future': Pakistani Newspapers Welcome SC's Decision on Trust Vote

The newspapers also said it was important that Imran Khan and his party make sure to abide by the court's directives.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan June 4, 2021. REUTERS/Saiyna Bashir/File Photo

New Delhi: Editorials in Pakistani English-language newspapers on Friday welcomed the country’s Supreme Court’s decision to call for a trust vote on April 9 and term the president’s dissolution of the parliament “unconstitutional”.

The newspapers also said it was important that Imran Khan and his party make sure to abide by the court’s directives.

“Nothing more could have been hoped for from the highest court of the land,” wrote Dawn, in an editorial titled ‘The Reckoning’. “…It is hoped that the verdict, delivered just as matters seemed to be hurtling towards chaos, will be able to pull the country back from the precipice.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent actions, Dawn noted, “had rendered Pakistan’s entire democracy a farce”.

“Mr Khan had political options: there were many ways he could have gracefully bowed to political realities and thrown his energies into the next elections. Yet, in his obduracy, the prime minister showed the country he would think nothing of pushing it headfirst into a constitutional crisis if it meant getting his way,” the editorial continued.

The Supreme Court, Dawn noted, has provided “new hope for the future” with its decision:

“It is commendable that this Supreme Court chose to forge its own path, even though precedent could have afforded it another chance to take cover behind the doctrine of necessity. A dark history of judicial endorsements and quasi-endorsements of unconstitutional and extra-constitutional decisions had greatly dimmed the hopes of an unequivocal ruling on this matter, but this bench, led by the chief justice, has provided new hope for the future.”

The Express Tribune too celebrated the decision, saying, “Constitutionalism has triumphed.”

The judgment will go down in history, the newspaper said, since “The judges not only upheld the rule of law and constitution, but at the same time came up with magnanimous arbitration to read the mindset of disputing parties underneath the bench. Very often they reflected their mind, heard from the stakeholders in solitude and then ultimately made themselves heard loud and clear.”

Another newspaper, The Nation, said that the Supreme Court’s decision came as a relief as it ensured that these matters would now be settled parliament, as they should, “instead of the streets or by holding the country hostage”.

Also read: A Rogue Imran Khan Has Launched a Frontal Assault on Democracy in Pakistan

The newspaper continued that Khan and his party must now ensure that they abide by the court’s directions, and avoid any further crisis:

“The guidelines have been laid out very clearly by the Supreme Court and there should be no attempts to derail the process any further or to make a mockery of the constitution. There are reports emerging that the PTI is planning counter-moves and could ask its MNAs to resign and disrupt the voting session on Sunday. This would not help in what looks to be an inevitable change of guard in government. The hope is that the procedure is not disrupted any further, and the previous timeline is restored; the parliament, after electing a new Prime Minister, decides when elections will be held—in a year and half or earlier. Ensuring this will allow us to deal with the more urgent crisis at hand, which is the state of our economy.”

The News made it clear that this decision would not be easily forgotten, especially by those who value democracy and constitutionalism. “Considering Pakistan’s judicial history, there had been more than a healthy level of scepticism about the eventual court ruling. For far too long has the ‘doctrine of necessity’ prevailed over the constitution and the law of the land. Last night’s course correction by the Supreme Court has hopefully finally laid to rest any debate about the doctrine of necessity, with the five-member bench clearly ruling that the constitution of Pakistan trumps all trump cards,” its editorial read.

“Regardless of who wins politically at the end, it is the long-awaited win for the constitution that we celebrate today,” it concluded.

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