The Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDA), a coalition of opposition parties that emerged after the ouster of former prime minister Imran Khan, stated in a press conference in Islamabad today calling for an end to judicial activism and interference in political matters.
The PDM alliance demands the full-court bench on the Parliamentary resolutions in which the Parliament passed the bill to get hold the judicial activism in the country.
Pakistan has witnessed the worst form of judicial activism in which the Supreme Court chief justice takes Suo moto action and makes the bench of like-minded judges to politize and exploit the major constitutional decision in the country.
Pakistan’s judiciary ranks poorly in the global justice system, according to various surveys and reports. According to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2021, Pakistan ranked 130th out of 139 countries in its overall rule of law performance, which measures factors such as constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.
The PDM accused the judiciary of acting as a tool of the power hubs and undermining the parliamentary sovereignty and democracy in Pakistan. The declaration cited several examples of judicial overreaches, such as the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the removal of former president Asif Ali Zardari, the arrest and conviction of several opposition leaders on corruption charges, and the nullification of various laws passed by the Parliament.
The PDM demanded that the judiciary should respect the constitutional mandate and role of the Parliament and refrain from encroaching upon its domain. The PDM also called for an independent and impartial accountability process that does not discriminate between civilians and military officials. The PDM urged the judiciary to uphold the rule of law and protect the fundamental rights of the citizens.
The PDM is a political alliance that was formed in April 2022 after a successful no-confidence motion against Imran Khan, who was accused of mismanaging the economy, foreign policy, and governance.
Pakistan’s judiciary has been criticized for its lack of independence, accountability, and transparency, as well as its interference in political matters and its alignment with the military establishment.