Judiciary and government must compromise for the survival of democracy in Pakistan – UAE paper

Abu Dhabi: For the survival of democracy and the good of the people in Pakistan, both the judiciary and the government must be willing to make sacrifices; urged a UAE daily.
In an editorial under the title ‘Pakistan cannot afford institutional tug-of-war’, Gulf News lamented that Pakistan’s Supreme Court and the government are on a collision course again.

The apex court has set the stage for a potential contempt case against Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf for not pursuing corruption proceedings against President Asif Ali Zardari. In June this year, the court had convicted then prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of contempt and ousted him from office; it noted.

The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, has been pushing the Pakistani government since 2009 to write a letter asking authorities in Switzerland to reopen a case involving allegations of kickbacks there, in which Zardari and his late wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, were convicted of in absentia in 2003, the paper added.

In court, the government has said that it is making serious efforts to find a way out of the impasse, although it has not indicated how the institutional tug-of-war would end. Compromise solutions have been put forward by analysts. But for the survival of democracy and the good of the people, both the judiciary and the government must be willing to make sacrifices. At the same time, the court must recognise the authority of the legislature to frame laws, while the government must acknowledge the role of the judiciary; stressed the paper.

“The executive, legislature and judiciary must play their role as checks and balances, but not pull in different directions”, said the paper adding that with national elections due to take place early next year, the government will do well to end this standoff early.