Date: Apr 7, 2007 12:33 PM
Subject: The Crisis & The Way Out
The Crisis & The Way Out
The recent extremely unpopular action against the Chief Justice has plunged the country in a deep crisis. The people are in the state of shock, disbelief, agitation and outrage. The judiciary and the lawyers feel besieged, overwhelmed and infuriated.
It doesn't augur well for a country that is already plagued by a number of serious problems. It is in the eye of the storm in the global war on terrorism and faces an explosive situation inside its territory while dangerous situation prevails on its borders. The one-man rule in the country lacks the legitimacy and the trust of the people. It has weakened the federation and the disharmony and discord among the people and the provinces are growing at an alarming rate.
The regime has also been accused of having compromised the independence and the sovereignty of the country. It is perceived to be biased and incapable of handling the core issues facing the country. Its actions have resulted in making things worse. The situation can't be allowed to continue as it is any longer. Hard decisions have to be made quickly.
The way out is the immediate resignation of the government to be replaced by an interim administration to hold free and fair elections. The unscrupulous and coercive action against the Chief Justice aimed at subjugating the judiciary must be immediately reversed. A high judiciary commission comprising retired SC judges of impeccable character, preferably the ones that didn't take oath under PCO, should be constituted to hear the present and any future complains against superior court judges and oversee appointment of new judges.
The centralization of powers must end, maximum autonomy should be granted to provinces with only three departments remaining with the federal government, namely the currency, defense and foreign affairs. The Senate should be made more powerful and given the authority over these three departments.
Senate should have equal number of members from each federating unit instead of its present lopsided composition. The Senators from each federating unit should make a block and all decisions should require an approval by the majority in each block. The Senate should confirm all new appointments to the judiciary and other important positions in the government including the armed forces.
Considering the past performance of the civilian governments, it is advisable to have a high profile overseeing or a watchdog commission to hear any complains of wrongdoings by civilian governments and high officials and recommend remedial and corrective measures.