Dear Justice Umar Ata Bandial,
We are a group of senior academics, civil society representatives, and concerned citizens. We are writing to put forth our grave concerns over the prevailing political and constitutional crisis. We are sure that your unwavering commitment to the Constitution of Pakistan and unbounded passion for justice will guide the nation through these troubled times and hope that you will give due consideration to our assertions below:
The Constitution of Pakistan represents the social contract between the state and the society. It provides the framework to govern the country. It is the basis for cooperation between the federating units. It is a sacred covenant between all sections of the society and the ultimate expression of the collective will of the people. It guarantees the fundamental rights of citizens and provides due process to place necessary limits on the exercise of executive authority. Unconditional and strict adherence to the constitution is the only way to establish and sustain a peaceful, civilized and prosperous society and avoid widespread lawlessness and anarchy.
We have noted with enormous distress the aggressive and contemptuous manner in which the Constitution of Pakistan was violated by the outgoing government. This is a major threat to the social cohesion and well-being of the nation. This action has brought us to the ignominious juncture where the ‘doctrine of necessity’ is again being invoked by some to suspend due process and violate the fundamental right to vote on the basis of unsubstantiated claims of alleged foreign interference in the political process.
The decisions you take today concerning the supremacy of Constitution will shape the destiny and trajectory of our national existence. As concerned citizens, we therefore request that following principles are considered while addressing the matter:
1. The due process prescribed in the Constitution must be followed in letter and spirit and no compromises be made under any pretext to justify unlawful and unconstitutional actions.
2. Responsibility should be fixed in case subversion of the Constitution is established during the proceedings and exemplary retribution ensured to deter any future excesses.
3. An independent judicial commission comprising serving judges of the Supreme Court should be established to adjudicate the evidence regarding the alleged foreign conspiracy to subvert the political process in the country.
4. All state institutions must be directed to remain in their constitutional boundaries.
5. Political process must be allowed to proceed unhindered and take its own course within the confines and in accordance with the Constitution.
6. All political parties must be directed to avoid hate-mongering and deepening social fissures on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations and assertions.
The honour and well-being of our future generations lie only in adherence to the Constitution and inclusive politics epitomizing mutual acceptance of mandates, a level playing field, and the basic norms of decency.
Today, we pin all our hopes on your lordship to uphold the Constitution and stand by the people of Pakistan in this hour of need.
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