Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Thursday emphasised the need for bringing democratic values in political parties, instead of party head behaving like a dictator.
“The political party heads should not act like dictators and convert the political party into one-man party,” observed the chief justice while heading a five-judge SC bench that had taken up a reference through which President Dr Arif Alvi has sought explanation whether the condition of secret ballot under Article 226 of the Constitution applies to Senate elections or not.
The chief justice acknowledged that there was no dearth of members of political parties who voted according to the dictates of their conscience and then admitted it openly.
He said that a political party in the country was run in the name of its leader, but every member of the party should have the courage to express his/her views openly.
AGP says if Senate polls are held on open ballot, a group of conscientious parliamentarians will emerge
Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan said that if the Senate elections were held through open ballot then a conscientious group would emerge among parliamentarians in future to challenge wrong decisions of party heads.
Citing a case from India, the AGP argued that time would come soon when political party heads had to consider fielding better candidates of good repute for the elections.
In case a member is removed from the party for taking a conscious stand then time will come when he/she will stand up and challenge the removal in a court of law, Mr Khan said.
He added that political stalwarts like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Wali Khan, Maulana Mufti Mehmood, Professor Ghafoor Ahmed or Shah Ahmed Noorani would be shocked if they were told that open ballot for the Senate elections was being sought to discourage vote buying because horse-trading would be a new phenomenon for them.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan, a member of the bench, wondered when the Constitution itself stated that all elections should be held under the Constitution through secret ballot then was there any corresponding provision to provide for open ballot also.