Constitution violated: Gul Rahman Qazi
KABUL (Pajhwok): Independent Commission for Overseeing Implementation of the Constitution head Gul Rahman Qazi claims the constitution needs amendments and that it has not only been violated by the government but also by its international allies.
Having 12 chapters and 162 articles, the constitution was ratified by a Loya Jirga in 2004, but there are reservations that the basic law has not been fully implemented in the last 11 years and needs amendments.
In an exclusive exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Qazi said the best national and international minds had worked on drafting the constitution.
“All our laws, especially our constitution, are based on the needs of society. But if we have developments in different areas and if it is not responsive to our future, then we should use the powers of a Loya Jirga to bring amendments to it.”
For example he said, Articles 156 and 157 needed amendments. Article 156 states: “The Indedpendent Elections Commission shall be established to administer and supervise every kind of elections as well as refer to general public opinion of the people in accordance with the provisions of law.”
Gul Rahman said the word “supervise” indicated the need for the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission to be also mentioned in the article.
Article 157 states: “The Independent Commission for supervision of the implementation of the Constitution shall be established in accordance with the provisions of the law. Members of this Commission shall be appointed by the President with the endorsement of the House of People.”
Qazi said the article also needed an amendment and the commission was no longer responsive to present-day needs. The panel should be replaced by a constitutional court.
A similar court exists in Turkey and has the power to prosecute anybody including its own members who violate the constitution.
Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, former national security advisor, said last week the constitution had challenges in terms of legal terminologies and it needed to be simplified.
Qazi agreed with Spanta and said Afghanistan’s constitution was in need of terminologies to be simple, legally understandable and should not provide double meanings under different circumstances.
He said the constitution was one of the main preconditions for rule of law, peace, stability and development in the country. In order to attain these objectives, he said, the law should have full political and support.
“Society should be educated to understand the benefits that a constitution brings. Then a citizen would not only practice law but would also want others to practice it.”
The unity government has promised to hold a Loya Jirga to amend the constitution and propose the post of prime minister.
Violation of the law
Qazi claimed the constitution had been violated to different degrees by different branches of the government. The executive branch has abused the law most brazenly, while the judiciary and the legislature have also deviated from it to some extent.
He cited the Independent Elections Commission as an example of the executive branch trampling on the law. “All branches have violated it but at this sensitive time I don’t want to pinpoint those violations...”
Qazi continued Afghanistan’s neighbors regional and international allies were tarred with the same brush. “Right now Pakistan, Iran and NATO members, especially the US, are spurning Afghanistan’s constitution.”
Night raids, bombardments of civilian houses, ISAF goods transportation to Afghanistan without taxation are among the many instances of international forces are violating local laws.
According to Qazi, Afghanistan’s neighbours have always sought to pursue their own interests, ignoring Kabul’s concerns. He said if neighbors wanted a peaceful Afghanistan, they should show it in practice.
He also praised former president Hamid Karzai for trying his best to enforce the rule of law. Qazi has submitted his resignation letter to the second vice-president.
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