Nelson Mandela a great leader of recent era and a potent symbol of resistance against injustice said that “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life”. In Modern age every sovereign state has an instrument document to run the affairs of the state smoothly, democratically and for the welfare of its citizens called constitution, as we have the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973.
Our constitution characterize the every system, institution and their functions with certain rights and obligations to have a resplendent society having climate of rule of law, peace, prosperity and harmony. The constitution is a contract between the state and its citizen. Through constitution, state vow to protect the rights of the inhabitants and they are bound to stay loyal and abide the laws and policies of state to avert sanctions and comeuppance. Johan Austin a legal theorist define the term law in his command theory that law is a social fact reflect relation of power and obedience.
The part II of the constitution pledged the fundamental rights (article 8 to 18) and principles of policy (article 29 to 40).The first chapter of the part appertain to the fundamental rights of citizens of Pakistan. The fundamental rights are the basic human rights of all citizens heedless to their caste, gender, religion and creed. Former American President Abraham Lincoln said “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”
The judiciary being one of the main pillar of the state has been mandated to make sure the whip of these rights strictly to avoid a lawless society. The superior courts of Pakistan (Supreme Court and High Courts) being the custodian of the fundamental rights are empowered to make other state institutions accountable and answerable to them against the abuse of these rights. Judiciary (superior) is under huge constitutional (under article 184(3) and 199) responsibility to expedite and dispense speedy justice while adjudicating the matters relating to the fundamental rights. The doctrine of check and balance between the two main state institution executive and judiciary start from this chapter of the constitution.
Avoiding to indulge in debate of separation of powers and limitations of each institution, let’s take about the article 18th of the constitution of Pakistan which ensure that every citizen has the fundamentally rights of freedom of trade, business or profession according to qualification, if any, as may be prescribed by law, this article further explains that every citizen shall have the fundamental right to enter upon any lawful profession or occupation, and to conduct lawful trade or business subject to some legal exceptions. Same as the article 23 says that every citizen shall have the fundamental right to acquire, hold and dispose of property in any part of Pakistan. Further in chain article 24 says that no person shall be deprived of his property save in accordance with law.
The articles mentioned above are core fundamental rights of every human being to live his life as to have property to live with peace and protection and can earn his livelihood to cater his dears. The 18th amendment of the constitution which was itself a landmark amendment and has aggravated the ceaseless debate of devolution of powers and relation between the federation and its units. In view of some constitutional jurists the amendment has strengthened the provinces more than the federation and some are saying that it was the time to delegate the powers to the provinces to make their performance better, no doubt that incorporation through this amendment has empowered to provinces to utilize and enjoy the resources lies within the provinces as preferential rights.
When our constitution can categories the utilization of the resources according to the wherewithal of the province then the citizen of Pakistan has the prefect first right to enjoy the resources of Pakistan as right to have Job, trade, business and property in Pakistan.
In last decades of the previous century, due to invasions, civil war and continue unrest in neighbour country, we are hosting millions of refugees from many decades and their second generation is living with us like a countrymen. Due to our undocumented economy and poor writ and registration of regulatory authorities now they are doing businesses, jobs and have acquired movable and immovable properties and nothing is to surprise to know this that now they have national identity cards and ownership of property documents and this shows that how much we are cheap to sell ourselves and our generation’s futures. These loopholes and breakdown of our system and are instigating the infringements of fundamental rights of inhabitants.
As there is a famous saying that There is no worse torture than the torture of a law we as individual and as well as a nation is suffering the dilemmas of poverty, unemployment and economical complications and these infringements of fundamental rights are sabotaging our prosperity and sovereignty very badly. The other sad part of story is that we are begging to the monarchs of the gulf countries to hire maximum labour from us because we are facing critical economic situation as the clouds of default and bankruptcy are hovering on us.
In some new Economic corridor projects initiated in recent years and are in full swing the countrymen should get more opportunities to work in these game changer projects to overcome the monster of unemployment. It is organic constitutional obligation of the state institutions to assemble, harmonize and organize a system to conserve the fundamental rights of the citizens. Otherwise a dream of welfare state will never come true.