News Analysis | Army Chief Stands Firm With Parliament | Judges Get Physical? | SC Order To SBP | Zardari ...

News Analysis | Army Chief Stands Firm With Parliament | Judges Get Physical? | SC Order To SBP | Zardari Interview
Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, Aamir Ghauri and Aijaz Ahmed joined Raza Rumi in Naya Daur’s flagship program Khabar Se Aagay for a discussion on the salient issues plaguing Pakistan’s political system: the Army Chief's support for Parliament, rumors of physical altercations breaking out between the Supreme Court Justices, the Supreme Court's directive to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and Asif Ali Zardari's most recent interview.

The interaction between the military and civilian governance is a sensitive subject in Pakistan. The military has a history of meddling in politics and influencing governments to further its own interests in Pakistan, however, it is also viewed as a neutral organization in recent months, with no clear preferences in the political sphere, as stated by Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa and Aamir Ghauri.

In the discussion, the Army Chief's support for Parliament was brought up first. This declaration, according to Ayesha Siddiqa, was crucial because it demonstrated the Army's commitment to democracy and the constitutional process. She pointed out that the Army has previously meddled in politics and challenged the legitimacy of the civilian administration. She did, however, commend the present Army Chief for supporting and honoring the choices of Parliament. In agreement with Siddiqa, Aamir Ghauri underlined the significance of the Army's political neutrality. In his view, the Army's function should be to protect the nation's borders and maintain national security, not to engage in the affairs of the civilian administration. He said that preserving the nation's stability and democracy depends on the Army's backing of the Parliament.

The rumor of the Supreme Court Justices getting involved in physical altercations was the second subject. Aijaz Ahmed stressed that there was no proof for this assertion, and that it was probably just a rumor that circulated on social media. He highlighted the need for stricter fact-checking and preventing the dissemination of false information, particularly when discussing delicate subjects like the impartiality of the court. Judges are supposed to uphold courtroom decorum and retain objectivity. Judges might lose the public's trust and subsequently cast doubt on their capacity to render fair and unbiased judgments if they engage in physical violence. Without more precise information, it is challenging to offer more insight on this subject.

Even if the rumor were genuine, Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa said, it would deal serious damage to the judiciary's reputation and erode public confidence in the institution. She claimed that any physical altercation would be inappropriate since the Justices of the Apex Court are required to maintain professionalism and decorum in the courtroom.

The Supreme Court's directive to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was the third subject considered. According to Aamir Ghauri, the Supreme Court's verdict was probably connected to the SBP's independence and its capacity to make decisions free from political pressure because it is an autonomous organization. He emphasized that sustaining financial stability and fostering public trust in the financial system depend greatly on the independence of the central bank.

The SBP's independence has previously been under danger, notably during periods of military administration, Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa remarked. She said that the Supreme Court's ruling was a move in the right direction to increase the SBP's autonomy and guarantee its capacity for independent decision-making.

The panel of guests also discussed the Chief Justice's directive to the SBP to organize elections. According to Aijaz Ahmed, the Chief Justice has the right to direct institutions to do certain actions, but the directive must adhere to the institution's legal frameworks. He stated that the Chief Justice's ruling is lawful if the SBP is legally required to hold elections. The order, however, can be viewed as an abuse of judicial power if there is no legal justification for it. The SBP's responsibility is to oversee monetary policy and the country’s financial system, not to conduct elections, said Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa. She asserted that the Chief Justice's directive can be seen as an effort to introduce partisanship within the SBP and weaken its independence. She emphasized the significance of maintaining independent institutions' autonomy and preventing politicization.

Additionally, Asif Ali Zardari's recent interview was discussed. Zardari is a divisive character in Pakistani politics, according to Aamir Ghauri, and his opinions on the economy and other crucial matters are frequently contested. Zardari made a number of comments in the interview on the nation's economic policies and the place of the military in politics. Zardari has a history of making contentious comments and of being repeatedly accused of corruption, according to Aijaz Ahmed, who said that his statements should be treated with caution. He said, however, that Zardari's critiques of the government's economic strategies are fair and should be taken into account. In order to improve the economic status of the nation, he highlighted the necessity for constructive criticism and open discussion.

The remarks Zardari made on the military's function in politics, according to Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, were particularly important. She made the case that in the past, the military has meddled in politics and threatened civilian authority and that it is essential to resolve this problem in order to strengthen democracy in the nation. She said that although Zardari may have his own political goals, many Pakistanis agree with his critiques of the military's involvement in politics.

The panelists concluded that in order to put Pakistan on the path to becoming a secure and affluent state, the value of democracy, institutional autonomy, and fact-checking cannot be understated.

Watch the program at Naya Daur’s YouTube page. Text by Areeb Khan, TFT staff.