As a campaign to raise awareness about importance of the Constitution and how it holds the country together, Naya Daur Media launched a campaign #KnowYourConstitution’ where lawyers, policymakers, and academics were asked to to weigh in on the history, importance and purpose of the constitution.
All videos in the series can be found in the Twitter thread below.
#KnowYourConstitution: Pakistan's Constitution was recently violated many times. As part of a campaign to raise awareness about importance of the Constitution, we asked academics and lawyers to weigh in. In this video, @BangashYK discusses how Constitution guarantees rule of law pic.twitter.com/ECGxFPGp9T
In the latest episode of the series, President of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, and TFT editor Raza Rumi talked about the history of the constitution and the why it is so easily subverted by power-hungry rulers.
Ahmad Bilal Mehboob started off by talking about ‘law of the jungle’, and explained how this mechanism relied on the strength of individual people. The powerful quarters get to preserve their self-interests, while the weak are forced to obey the commands and whims of the strong.
He said while it is called law of the ‘jungle’, in reality it is found in many societies in the human world too, where if a group of people don’t like something, they take up arms and resort to violence until their demands are met.
After experiencing the insecurity such a system brings, he said ‘rule of law’ was adopted, whereby no individual, regardless of strength, can usurp your rights. And in case the usurpation of rights happens, there are dedicated agencies that can help restore justice.
Through this system, Mehboob continued, we can vote for the change we want, or the institutes we want, and all of this is written down in our Constitution. “If we are to be a part of the civilized world, we must not only accept, but also follow each and every word of the Constitution,” he said. “This is how we all can safeguard our best interests, and our lives.”
He instructed that it was crucial to know what the Constitution actually said, and encouraged everyone to obtain a copy of it from the website of the National Assembly.
Raza Rumi also talked about the importance of knowing what the Constitution actually says, so that violations of the sacred document are not celebrated the way the recent unconstitutional actions of former PM Imran Khan were.
He mentioned that both military and civilian governments have repeatedly violated the Constitution, citing examples of Zia-ul-Haq dismissing the Constitution by calling it a ‘useless piece of paper’, and of Zulfiqar Bhutto who kept amending the very Constitution he himself had created, just because he had 2/3rd majority.
He also talked about how the lack of student unions had caused the youth to become apolitical, and how there was a dire need to get the youth properly involved in politics again.