Congratulations Mr. President, Commiserations Mr. Prime Minister

After the passage of the 18th Amendment by the parliament and its subsequent induction into law, the 18th Amendment is now officially a part of the Constitution of Pakistan. A big achievement indeed, the political parties, Prime Minister and especially the President–who agreed to strip his powers, deserve praise.

However while on one hand the 18th Amendment does away with the notorious 58(2)b, which gave the power to the President to dissolve all sitting assemblies at will, on the other hand, it has also given the power to the heads of the political parties to sack any member of the National or Provincial assemblies belonging to his party. Just in case you forgot, our President is currently the effective chairman of the PPP, which means he can sack the PM at any time, in a matter of minutes.

In other words, the final word will be the Presidents, and it will be on his orders that the government will act.

Apart from this, the requirement for political parties to hold intra party elections has also been finished. Another controversial clause in the amendment is the procedure for the appointment of the judges. Apparently many top jurists and eminent lawyers are not happy with it, and see the issue going to the Supreme Court, which they say the SC can strike down on the basis that it is against the basic structures of the constitution.

The 18th Amendment is big step but our lawmakers should begin the groundwork for the 19th Amendment to amend the flaws in the 18th Amendment.

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