Islamabad: Pakistan could do “without the headache of electing yet another short-term PM”, said a leading daily Saturday.
An editorial in the Dawn said that the Contempt of Court Act, 2012, is no more.
“Always likely to have only the briefest of existences, the law was gutted and then struck down in its entirety by the Supreme Court yesterday (Friday),” it said.
“…In a bid to save Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf from parliamentary disqualification, were he to also face contempt charges for not writing the so-called Swiss letter, the government concocted a poor piece of legislation that was always going to face intense judicial scrutiny for its purposeful elevation of certain individuals above the reach of the law,” said the daily.
It added that even reasonable voices within the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) “who know a thing or two about the law had expressed their reservations about the new contempt law. But the government was on a mission and it wasn’t to be deterred – until, that is, the inevitable judicial review took place and the law was consigned to the waste bin of history, as happened yesterday”.
It went on to say that thus far, “the government has not indicated that it is willing to find a way to reach an acceptable compromise with the court”.
“While rumour and speculation suggest that neither the court nor the government is interested in dragging out this matter much longer, the fact is that one or the other will have to make a meaningful gesture at this stage – and no one is clear how and when that will happen,” the editorial added.
“So on and on will continue the legal clouds over the political landscape, it seems.”
It added: “Every time the path to an on-schedule election is seemingly cleared, a fresh hurdle appears on the scene. Undesirable as the situation is, there is perhaps a silver lining: at least the hurdles in the way of an on-schedule election have not been truly insurmountable so far.”
“The democratic project could do without the headache of electing yet another short-term PM, but if it does come to that, the system itself doesn’t seem in imminent trouble.”