Jurists term Zardari’s speech unconstitutional | Pakistan Today

Jurists term Zardari’s speech unconstitutional

Eminent lawyers expressed dismay on Wednesday over the content and the language of President Asif Ali Zardari’s tirade against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif in a public gathering on Tuesday and said it was unbecoming of a president to make such a highly-charged political speech and hitting his opponents hard, because the office of the head of state was a symbol of the federation and the position did not allow the president to target his political opponents.
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Asma Jahangir condemned the content of President Zardari’s speech, saying neither the constitution nor morality allowed the president to make such a speech. “There is absolutely no provision for such conduct as neither the constitution nor humanity or morality allows the symbol of the federation to use such language,” she told Pakistan Today. She said she was sad to see the political forces who had struggled to topple an army dictator now fighting for power. Justice (r) Fakharuddin G Ebrahim said the president represented the entire federation and thus could not lead a political party.
“The constitution does not allow the head of a political party to act as head of state and this is the reason that the Lahore High Court (LHC) had given a verdict in this regard. One who heads the state must be a neutral person and this is what I have been saying from day one,” he said. “The office of the president does not allow speaking on political issues and the constitution does not allow such speeches and conduct. Let the prime minister speak on behalf of the party if you don’t want to relinquish the party office. According to my view, the president must not make such political speeches,” he added.
Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed agreed. “The language used by President Asif Zardari reflects a politician of a very low cadre. Since the president is a symbol of the federation, there is no provision for such a speech,” he said. He said the verdict of the LHC on the dual office case against the president was also weak and the court could have given a better and more solid decision. Justice (r) Tariq Mehmood said it was not becoming of the president to use such language and even a common citizen would use better language than Zardari’s.
“Forget the constitution, anyone who speaks in public uses better and more sugar-coated words. Even the people on the streets know the basic concepts of morality,” he said. He said the people were now expressing hopelessness with the ruling elite and were saying army rule was better than these politicians. “After the awareness level has been raised to this point, it is upsetting to note where we are heading. The people on the streets say they are fed up of this democracy.



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