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Political Vendettas and Fate of CPEC

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By Agha Iqrar Haroon

Agha Iqrar Haroon is a Development Observer. His area of work includes Central Asia, South Asia and Eastern European regions . He is also Chief Editor of DND News Agency
Agha Iqrar Haroon is senior journalist and Development Observer covering South Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe since 1988.
He is also Chief Editor of DND News Agency.

The working relationship between Treasury and Opposition is the core requirement of lawmaking in the Parliament and in the past Chief Whips of political parties had been in wonderful working relations to move forward and pass the bills through the Lower House of the Parliament —- the National Assembly and then an atmosphere automatically develops that helps the bill to sail smoothly from the Upper House — The Senate.

Over 33 years of covering legislator houses in Punjab and then in the Centre taught me a lesson that treasury benches having cruising majority even had working relations with opposition benches to move the House tactfully but surely.

PTI since its inception looks believing that Presidential Ordinance passage is the best option instead of adopting passage in Parliament.

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has an amazing, unusual, and unprecedented style in its working and relations with political adversaries. This astonishing and unprecedented conduct of PTI was successful in more than two stances when Treasury (the PTI government) managed to pass bills from the Parliament including one of FATF related bill. These events made PTI more confident that it can (could) run the National Assembly with its own rules although it enjoys a dangerously low majority in the House.

Article 89 of 1973 Constitution empowers President to promulgate Ordinances.

If someone reads the history of legislation in 2018 assembly, one can understand the interest of treasury benches is almost nil to trust the Parliament for lawmaking requirements. PTI since its inception looks to believe that the Presidential Ordinance passage is the best option instead of adopting the passage in Parliament. Alas, the life of the Presidential Ordinance is less than a child needs for the teething process. And of course, the law made through the Presidential Ordinance cannot be effective and empowered for all times to come and cannot be ordered again and again. This law has to be passed through the Parliament once the time of its life is barred under Article 89 of the Constitution of 1973. There are strong feelings among the people interested in a democracy that the PTI government is not comfortable with 1973 Constitution and it may have a wish to change it according to its wishes because majority of the leadership of PTI looks impressed by Constitutions adopted by North American and European Countries and they always cite examples from foreign Constitutions. Alas PTI is still not in a position to amend the 1973 Constitution drastically and it has to live with it for the time being.

Article 89 of the 1973 Constitution empowers the President to promulgate Ordinances.

Article 89 says that the President may, except when the [Senate or] National Assembly is in the session, if satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action, make and promulgate an Ordinance as the circumstances may require.  An Ordinance promulgated under this Article shall have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament) and shall be subject to like restrictions as the power of Parliament to make law, but every such Ordinance–(a) shall be laid –

(i)  before the National Assembly if it contains provisions dealing with all or any of the matters specified in clause (2) of Article 73, and shall stand repealed at the expiration of one hundred and twenty days from its promulgation or, if before the expiration of that period a resolution disapproving it is passed by the Assembly, upon the passing of that resolution.

Article 89 further says that the National Assembly may by a resolution can) extend the Ordinance for a further period of one hundred and twenty days and it shall stand repealed at the expiration of the extended period, or if before the expiration of that period a resolution disapproving it is passed by the Assembly, upon the passing of that resolution. The most important point in this process is that the extension for a further period may be made only once.

Since China is major stakeholder of CPEC therefore Public Diplomacy of China can bail CPEC out of this catastrophic situation and it is getting late to resolve the situation before stakeholders feel fatigue and enemies of Pakistan, peace in region and China start celebrating their Success Party.

The law regarding the defunct China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is hanging in balance though it went through the Stranding Committee of the National Assembly. One should not go into details about how much CPEC is important for Pakistan and how much enemies of prosperity and peace in the region are against this historic project because questioning the importance of CPEC is beyond any iota of doubt. Alas, this the most important project of the region is becoming a victim of political vendettas. Alas, PTI is so hostile against the opposition that no way out is a sight for lawmaking in the Parliament. There is one way out and yes the PTI government can impose an emergency for some days and let laws waiting for fate clear from the Parliamentary process. I believe this point is very much in the minds of PTI leadership.

Since China is a major stakeholder of CPEC, therefore, the Public Diplomacy of China can bail CPEC out of this catastrophic situation and it is getting late to resolve the situation before stakeholders feel fatigued and enemies of Pakistan, peace in the region and China start celebrating their Success Party.

Disclaimer:

The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.

Central Desk
Central News Desk.

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