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 Liberty is Security
 
Nizam-e-Adl unconstitutional
The News, Pakistan Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Khalil Ahmad
The terrorists know that they can kill people, but they cannot bomb the Constitution. let us revert to our constitution, the constitution of 1973 as the binding contract. The Constitution should be our guiding principle in the fight against the militants. Ironically, our own political as well as military leaders have tried to disfigure it, bury it, trash it, but it's the final word and it's an idea which is still very much alive. Only the constitution can save the people, the nation, the state of Pakistan. It should be our rallying point, writes Dr Khalil Ahmad
It's no academic issue. We have no time to go into the details of its causes. No more history! No more psychology, please! We cannot afford a detailed discussion, in-depth analysis and study of the same. It's no time to blame others. No more waiting and seeing! We have already wasted a lot of time over this. It's now a matter of life and death for the people, nation, state and the country. It's time to take the terror tangle head-on.

First, let us revert to our constitution, the constitution of 1973 as the binding contract. The Constitution should be our guiding principle in the fight against the militants. Ironically, our own political as well as military leaders have tried to disfigure it, bury it, trash it, but it's the final word and it's an idea which is still very much alive. Only the constitution can save the people, the nation, the state of
Pakistan. It should be our rallying point.

The terrorists know that they can kill people, but they cannot bomb the Constitution. We tend to use secular or secularized terms only. The language of the terrorists is different and alluring. In the past their 'silent' partners tried to get the people on their side using the Hasba Bill but the Supreme Court put rest to that episode. The present Nizam-e-Adl regulation is another ploy to thwart the Constitution – nothing more, nothing less. The reason for that is quite simple – the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan clearly states that there are to be no parallel systems of justice, but the Nizam-e-Adl does precisely that. In fact it makes the one imposed in Swat higher in authority than even the country's Supreme Court, since no decision made by a court under it can be appealed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, let alone the Peshawar High Court.

The Constitution binds and weaves
Pakistan into a whole. The institutions and offices that it gives birth to must work under it fully and with no deviation. This then necessarily means that the articles of the Constitution, its rules and laws must all be strictly implemented. And, perhaps more importantly, the government along with the military must show the resolve, will and determination to do all of this. The terrorists and the militants who now proclaim that they will spread to the rest of the country must be dealt with in the light of the provisions of the Constitution and law of the land. This means a zero tolerance approach to any one or any group that challenges the writ of the state. And this means that no 'deals' can be made with such people because the objective should be to subjugate them to the Constitution, not appease them.

Also, crucially, it must be acknowledged that the militants are very much an indigenous problem and one that we created ourselves. In any case, no external threat is a threat until and unless it has internal roots. We should solve and resolve it on our own and whosoever comes to our aid in this must be welcomed. Consequently, this means saying goodbye to the politics of peace deals with terrorists and militants and beginning a full-scale war against these people. The state and the government can and must employ all the resources at their disposal in this war and this means that the military and its various intelligence agencies fight the terrorists as determined by the country's elected leadership.

The writ of the government in FATA, Swat and other areas of NWFP must be restored at any cost. The writ is not an end in itself – it is a means to a greater end, i.e. provision of protection of life, property, and the fundamental rights and freedoms that the Constitution guarantees to each citizen. What was done in Buner should not be done – the people of that district were more or less abandoned to the terrorists by the government and the military.

Until and unless the government sets upon this course of action and by taking people in confidence and announcing an all-out war against the terrorists, it has no moral justification to remain in power. If it keeps ceding this or that town or district to the perpetrators of terror under this or that pretext such as dialogue and peace, it is betraying the people who voted for it.
This article was published in the The News on Tuesday, April 21, 2009. Please read the original article here.
Author : Dr Ahmad is the director of Alternate Solutions Institute in Lahore, Pakistans first free market think-tank.
Tags- Find more articles on - pakistan taliban | Pakistan terrorism | religious fundamentalis

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