Should The Articles 62 And 63 Of Constitution Be Amended or Deleted?
The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous
Articles 62 and 63, added by General Ziaulhaq during his regime, deals with the qualification and disqualification of the members of parliament. Article 62 defines the characteristics of eligible candidates for taking part in general elections while article 63 describes the conditions which may lead to the disqualification of a member of Majlis-e-Shura (Parliament). Albeit at the time of inclusion of these articles, one of the objectives of Zia was to keep his opponent politicians out of the Majlis-e-Shura (parliament) but it became an integral part of the constitution as no one ever ponder over its existence in the constitution until Mr Nawaz Sharif, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, was disqualified on the basis of it.
After the court verdict in Panama leaks trial, people from different backgrounds such as politicians, scholars and bureaucrats began discussing these articles at length in talk shows and in newspapers. Most of them criticise articles 62 and 63 while some of them favour these articles. Below is a short summary of their arguments.
Articles 62 And 63 Should Be Amended Or Deleted From The Constitution
Those people who believe that articles 62 and 63 should either be amended or deleted from the constitution, presents the following reasons to support their argument.
Conditions Are Too Strict
One of the first objections that they raised is that we should not close eyes on the current situation of the country. They argued that strong actions should be taken against the deceitful activities of politicians and bureaucrats but no one should be disqualified on the basis of it as the whole country is under the grip of this menace. Since these articles were added by dictators to the constitution for their own motives, they also believed that the exploitation of exalted principles of Islam for selfish interests, in itself is a crime.
Another objection that they raise is that these articles were created and added to the constitution of Pakistan by dictators who themselves were not eligible to hold any of the public office and also, they themselves were violating the very same rules of these articles. They at the time of joining the army had sworn an oath of the protection and honour of the constitution of the country, which they violated in the very first step by imposing marital law. So how a person can impose a law in the country under which he himself is not eligible to hold a position of power.
Embarrassment Of Politicians
Due to these articles some cases of both male and female politicians’ embarrassment have also been reported such as female candidates with veil are often asked to show their face at the time of submission of application form at the Election Commission. Similarly female politicians are also sometimes asked about family management due to their involvement in politics. Likewise one of the politicians was asked about the number of wives while some other politicians’ application forms were rejected on the basis of mere allegations in the past elections (2018).
Public Posses The Right Of Election
Another objection that they raised is that the right of qualification, disqualification and election of political members belongs to the general public of the country and not to any institution or agency such as court, Election Commission of Pakistan and Bureaucrats etc.
Chain Reaction Of Blames
They also argue that the Supreme Court verdict in Panama leaks based on articles 62 and 63 may lead to a chain reaction of blame game by the politicians. They are right in their this view to some extent as over the past few months after the disqualification of former Prime Minister Mr Nawaz Sharif, a number of cases have been filed by the politicians against each other based on the principles of Sadiq and Ameen. Similarly some civilians also have filed cases against some politicians.
How To Define And Quantify
Another objection is that how to define and quantify these attributes. What is the standard on the basis of which persons are to be compared and how an accused person can prove his innocence? These are the questions that are difficult to be answered.
Articles 62 And 63 Should Not Be Amended Or Deleted From The Constitution
Those people who are in favour of articles 62 and 63 are fairly large in number and most of them are general public. They point out the following reasons in support of the twin articles and demanded that both the articles should remain intact in the constitution.
Pakistan, An Islamic Republic Country
The supporters of the articles 62 and 63 argued that our ancestors had created this country after a long struggle, full of bloody sacrifices. They had dreamed about Pakistan to be a country based and run and rule its subjects according to the true principles of Islam. Their intention was never the creation of a country which is based on western values and where every type of manipulation for self interest is common. They believed that being truthful and trustworthy is one of the basic principles of Islam and if the ruling class could not passed by this criterion, then they have no right to rule a country that was achieved in the name of Islam. They argued that when public elect a person to Majlis-i-Shura, they put their trust in him and he should not break it. In short they say that people with immoral characters should not rule the country.
Results Matter Not Creator
They also argue that though the articles were inserted by the army general during his regime but the demand of the articles are not illegal or immoral. We should look at the results of the articles, which no doubts are fruitful for the country.
Scrutiny Of Leaders
According to the supporters of articles 62 and 63, the presence of these articles in the constitution can help in the scrutiny of politicians and it will allow only deserved people to enter the parliament. According to them if some people of an agency are misusing the authority under these articles, they should be punished and a standard procedure of inspection should be devised but it is not wise to remove these articles on the basis that candidates are facing embarrassment due to its presence.
Now Or Never
Another point that the supporter of twin articles raised is that all the ruling class of the country should be scrutinized under these articles. According to them the prosperity of this nation is possible only if deserved people rule the country. If the present ruling class cannot face scrutiny and want to remove these articles just because the conditions of these articles are too strict then they should not run for the rulers-hip of the country. If rulers of the other states are bound to present themselves before the law and institutions for inspection then why cannot ours?
Humans Not Angles
In response of another most hilarious objection raised by the opponent of Articles 62 and 63, which is that ‘only Prophets and Angles can pass through the criteria, set in articles 62, 63’, they say that if political leaders cannot pass through this criteria does not justify that no one can pass it. All the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the five Caliphs were humans, not Angles. If they, the Companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), can pass this criteria then why cannot the leaders of today.