KARACHI, Feb 2: Law Minister Farooq H. Naek said on Saturday that elected representatives of the people were entitled to exercise powers bestowed upon them under Article 2A of the Constitution.
Speaking to lawyers at the Karachi Bar Association, he urged judges to work within their jurisdiction as envisaged under Article 175 of the Constitution.
He called for joint efforts to promote democracy and strengthen national institutions and said that judiciary, executive and legislature must work in their own domains and respect each other.
He said that it was up to people to choose their representatives and no-one could interfere in the process. Any individual or group, which would try to trample upon this right of people, would be severely dealt with, he warned. The minister warned against certain forces ‘which are hatching a conspiracy to derail democracy and create obstacles to general elections’ and said: “let polls be held in accordance with law and Constitution and do not disenfranchise people”.
The government was about to complete its term and the country had an independent and autonomous election commission, Mr Naek said and added that credit for it went to the coalition government as well as parliament.
He said that democracy had been restored in the country after great sacrifices as Benazir Bhutto gave away her live, President Asif Zardari remained in prison for 10 years without a single conviction and hundreds of PPP workers, lawyers, journalists and people either lost their lives or were jailed for raising voice for democracy.
He praised sacrifices rendered by lawyers during their movement for independence of judiciary and rule of law.
He said that the government would successfully tackle the challenges of terrorism, targeted killing and religious fanaticism and the threat of economic meltdown.
He handed over a cheque of Rs15 million to the bar association and said that it would soon be provided the remaining amount and two coasters.
The minister said that he had kept the promise about the grant of Rs20 million he had made last month.