ISLAMABAD: A civil engineer has moved a petition in the Supreme Court seeking an immediate referendum on a question whether the people of Pakistan want a presidential form of government against what he described as a duplicitious parliamentary system.
Through the petition, Dr Sadiq Ali, who has done PhD in turbine design from Ulster University, UK, pleaded the top court that the case whenever be taken up be telecast live on national TV channels and electronic media for the benefit of public at large. This, the petitioner, said would help avoid misunderstanding or distortion of facts in the translation by the media.
A similar petition was earlier filed by Hum Awam Pakistan Party chairman Tahir Aziz Khan by invoking Article 184(3) of the Constitution that deals with the Supreme Court’s authority to enforce fundamental rights of the people.
The new petition also seeks direction from the top court for Prime Minister Imran Khan and other relevant parties to hold referendum under Article 48(6) of the Constitution on the issue whether the people of Pakistan, for their welfare and wellbeing, want the presidential form of government or not.ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD
Almost similar arguments have been adopted by Dr Sadiq Ali in the his petition to highlight the failure of the parliamentary form of government in the country and how it was imperative to cut costs and unify command of public governance.
The petitioner has cited high population, high public debt, failure of successive governments to plan meaningful jobs to the burgeoning youth comparing the average Human Development Index (HDI) of Pakistan with other countries of the region: India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.
“The governments have also failed to create a unified industrial policy or industrial base in addition to failure to address the chronic negative balance of trade thus pushing Pakistan and its people to clutches of foreign-based warlocks and syndicates,” the petition claimed.
The governments have also failed to stop the brain drain or to attract foreign investment which could actually enhance GDP and create jobs.
The petition regretted that members of parliament were in the habit of changing loyalties and cut deals under the table to blackmail the governments only to promote their own personal interests.
“Thus a healthy opposition and a strong government are not there to take care of the welfare and wellbeing of the people.”
The petition also highlighted little legislation work done in assemblies claiming that meetings of legislatures often failed due to lack of quorum and the monitoring role of the opposition was often compromised.