Dark clouds are gathering over the Aiwan-i-Sadr as the discussion over the contentious modifications to the Army Act and Official Secrets Act and their current legal standing continues.
Following President Arif Alvi’s claim that he had been undercut by his staff the previous day, the presidency fired its chief secretary on Monday. The contents of a “confidential” letter written by the officer that was released to the public revealed that the secretary at least believed the two incidents to be closely related, even though the president itself did not really explain why the secretary was fired. If the officer’s proposal to go to court to cleanse his name is implemented, the situation could get very nasty for the president.
In the letter that was leaked, the secretary asserts that he should not be held accountable for ‘delaying’ the laws because the president never provided him with a ‘formal decision’ to either agree to or return the bills to parliament. The president, on the other hand, had earlier asserted that he had requested that both bills be returned within the allotted time and had received assurances during follow-ups that they had been.
Given these conflicting accounts, a thorough investigation into the situation is now required. It’s even more intriguing because it doesn’t appear to have started yet. Furthermore, it should be emphasised that the president does not appear to have provided any written justification for opposing the two legislation, regardless of his viewpoint. What was the president pondering, exactly? Had he always intended to break the law only when it would be impossible to undo him? Had he always wanted to play his cards close to the vest? These two measures appeared to have the support of several extremely influential sponsors. Our legislators initially protested, but despite numerous chances, they ultimately found it pretty tough to refuse. Therefore, was the president’s hesitation followed by a public denial part of a deliberate plan to subvert those who would have done anything to see these legislation passed?
Another possibility is that he merely made a drastic U-turn after receiving criticism from his party for giving the government a noose to hang its leaders from. Finally, did he really oppose these bills and want them reconsidered, but his subordinates, who may have been carrying out someone else’s orders, sabotaged his efforts? It is imperative that the country investigates this scandal, and it is the president’s duty to ensure that the truth be told.