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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the protection of the Constitution of 1973 was not the responsibility of any citizen or a person in uniform, but of the legislature, judiciary, and executive. “We have to restore the constitution of 1973 in its original form as was written.”

This he said while speaking at a seminar organized to celebrate the 1973 Constitution at the auditorium of Sindh Assembly. Shah said that the Constitution of 1973 was passed unanimously by the National Assembly.

It is our responsibility as citizens to abide by the constitution, he said, adding that there were three most important and glaring words in the constitution - “preserve, protect, and defend” for which we, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary took oath while taking over our respective positions.

The CM said that the members of the legislative assemblies/ houses, chief ministers, ministers, and the judiciary took an oath to protect the constitution, preserve it, and defend it.

“This is the constitution that strengthens the three pillars – the legislation, the judiciary, and the executive,” he said.

He said that when the 1973 constitution had fixed three qualifications for becoming a member of the assembly, they included that he/ she should be national of the country with a minimum age of 25 years age (30 years for a member of the Senate), and should have a solid state of mind.

He added that the constitution had also fixed some parameters for disqualification for being a member of the assembly such as dual nationality, un-solid state of mind, defaulter, and in government service.

Shah said that when Gen Zia came into power, he increased the parameters of qualifications for a member of the assembly from three to seven just to weaken the legislature.

“Now, it is not my voter but someone else who decides if I am honest, abide by Islamic ideology, and so on,” he lamented.

Talking about the executive, he said it has been weakened. He added that under Article 248 the executive, the PM, federal ministers, CM, and provincial ministers had immunity before any court of law but now we all, me and almost all my cabinet members were appearing in the court in different cases.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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