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Upholding the Dignity of the Presidency

by khalid waseem Advocate
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khalid waseem advocate

As per Pakistan’s Constitution, the role of the President is crucial for maintaining the nation’s unity and security. The President isn’t just the head of the state, but also the highest military leader and a symbol of the country. It’s worth noting that during military dictatorships, the president wields significant power, while in democratic times, their role can become more symbolic under the Prime Minister.

In a parliamentary democracy, two houses of Parliament exist to balance the legislative and judicial branches. When the National Assembly passes a law, the Senate must also approve it. If necessary, the President can send it back for reconsideration. If both houses approve it, the President’s approval becomes a formality, otherwise, the law doesn’t pass. Sometimes, the President returned bills with opinions, but didn’t express thoughts on some amendments, like the Army Act and Official Secrets Act. The government eventually declared these bills as law, since the President didn’t send them back with opinions, though the President insists he didn’t approve them.

The President’s role involves executing orders as the head of state and is not tied to any political party. A recent example involves the Chief Election Commissioner, who refused to meet the President’s request. Traditionally, the Election Commission set the presidential election date after assembly terms. The Election Act 2017 changed this, empowering the Commission. Even though not legally necessary, respecting the presidency called for the Commissioner to meet the President.

Amidst political turmoil, wisdom is required to safeguard institutions and resolve political issues in a peaceful manner. The President’s House stands as a respected institution, guiding stability for other bodies. Respecting the President’s honor and position is vital, regardless of ideological or political differences. Upholding this respect safeguards national unity, federalism, and the country’s strength, keeping the nation united.

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