Published On: Sat, Nov 24th, 2007

Loyalty to State and obedience to Constitution

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Pervez Musharraf like any other ordinary citizen of Pakistan remains duty bound to remain loyal to State and obedient to Constitution and Law. The constitutional command under article 5 (1) (2) demands of every citizen wherever he may be and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan to remain loyal to State, and obedient to Constitution and Law.

As a member of armed forces of Pakistan Article 244 has put Musharraf under an oath. He has solemnly declared that “In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful…’he’ will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan and uphold the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan which embodies the will of the people, that ‘he’ will not engage ‘himself’ in any political activities whatsoever and that ‘he’ will honestly and faithfully serve Pakistan in the Pakistan Army as required by and under the law.”

Article 243 of the Constitution puts the armed forces under the control and command of the Federal Government. In October 1999 he had been removed as chief of army staff by a duly elected and constitutional prime minister but he did not accept the order. It was a violation of article 243.

He forgot that Socrates preferred to die obedient to the laws of Athens rather than to flout them to live. Socrates said “Let the event be as God wills: in obedience to the law I make my defence.”

Musharraf is under oath under article 42 of the Constitution. Unfortunately on 3 October he nudge passed article 232 and violated the Constitution that he had undertaken to defend under oath.

Under article 190 of the Constitution he was required to act in aid of the Supreme Court. Unfortunately he feared, that he was going to be ambushed by the Supreme Court, so he took pre-emptive action. He remains in violation of the seven judge Supreme Court decision. The seven Supreme Court judges rejected the declaration of emergency and ordered top officials, including the prime minister, and military officers not to comply with it.

Supreme Court ordered further that “Chief of the Army Staff, Corps Commander, Staff Officers and all concerned authorities are restrained from acting on PCO which has been issued or from administering fresh oath to Chief Justice of Pakistan or judges of the Supreme Court, the court order further reads. It also stated that any further appointment of Chief Justice of Pakistan and other judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices and judges of the Provincial High Courts under new development shall be unlawful and without jurisdiction.”

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, along with other six judges of the Supreme Court, refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) and ordered the government not to take any such action that is contrary to the independence of the judiciary.

Musharraf failed to defend himself in obedience to the laws of Pakistan in October 1999. On 3 November 2007 he failed again to make a defence in obedience of the laws of Pakistan.

Musharraf has failed to live up to his Constitutional commands as a citizen of Pakistan under articles 5(1)(2), as a member of Armed Forces under article 244 and under article 243 in accepting the command of the Federal Government, as President under article 42 in defending the constitution, as an Executive authority under article 190 binding him to act in aid of Supreme Court and article 232. In imposing emergency in the country COA has violated article 243, that is, the authority of the Federal Government, which controls and commands the Armed Forces. On the one hand Musharraf the COA has acted against Musharraf the President and on the other he has decided not make a “defence in obedience of the laws of Pakistan.”

In the ultimate he could not keep the oath that as President he will discharge ‘his’ duties, and perform ‘his’ functions, honestly, to the best of ‘his’ ability, faithfully in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of Pakistan “…that ‘he’ will not allow ‘his’ personal interest to influence ‘his’ official conduct or ‘his’ official decisions…that ‘he’ will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan…in all circumstances, ‘he’ will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.”

On 12 October 1999 he failed his oath as Army Chief and on 3 November 2007 he failed his oath as a President. One can see a difference between Socrates a citizen of Athens and Musharraf a citizen of Pakistan. The citizen of Pakistan further failed to exercise the authority in the land within the limits prescribed by Allah as a sacred trust.

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