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Editorial: Constitution in jeopardy

The only potent source which people rely on and hope will ensure their rights and the public order is the current 16-year-old Constitution of Afghanistan. But recent developments show that with the help of apparent impunity, everybody has partaken in disregarding this supreme law in whatever way they could. January 4th marked the 16th anniversary of the Constitution’s ratification at a time when a number of public representatives asserted that 62 percent of the Constitution’s articles were transgressed by the three pillars of the state – executive, legislative and judiciary – while the Executive Branch topped the list. On top of that, Second Vice-president Sarwar Danish’s acknowledgement that the current Constitution needed reforms only added to the arisen alarm across the country in this regard. The below-par implementation of the law of the land has triggered reservations among the Afghan masses, which are on the brink of losing trust in its inviolability.

These uncontrolled violations of the Constitution reflect badly on the government and weaken its mandate. It has in a way benefitted the Taliban who have constantly attempted to downplay the current Constitution and they now have even better justification to illegitimatize it – given that nobody in the government obeys it. In a sense, the Constitution can be termed as the only thing standing between the insurgents and the government and thus its provisions should be adhered to and enforced as much as possible. Government officials always claim that for making and ensuring peace, the Constitution should be held in high regard by everybody and implemented bit by bit but if the government’s elements are shrugging it off, how can one expect the Taliban to respect it? Every state requires discipline and the Constitution if it wants to be in peace. The government should thus try to control the violations and strengthen the system of checks and balances among the three branches. As Constitution is the mother of all subsequent laws, the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution (ICOIC) must take necessary actions and measures in order to properly enforce the Constitution and hence avert damage to the whole system and laws. The commission should identify the quarters and specific departments which brazenly violate the supreme law and seek accountability in order to preserve the Constitution in jeopardy.

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