Islamabad, June 4 : Amid rumours that the PPP's draft constitutional package is aimed at weakening the post of President of Pakistan, one of the amendments proposed in the package empowers the President to indemnify any illegal acts of treason, even those committed in the past, including done by himself too.
The words "to indemnify any act whatsoever" appended to Article 45 of the Constitution means strengthening him through an indirect route, a constitution expert in Pakistan said.
He said the insertion of "indemnifying any act whatsoever" means the President would have the powers to indemnify any action, including subversion of the Constitution, acts of high treason, suspension or abrogation of the Constitution for any period of time. "On the one side, the thrust of the proposed package is to weaken the president, while on the other side this proposal is intended to strengthen him through an indirect route," The News quoted the expert as saying.
He added that this means that the President is being empowered to "indemnify" any illegality, may be the ones he himself committed.
The amendment also does not clarify whether acts against the Constitution itself would be open for indemnification. It also does not clarify whether acts committed in the past, before this amendment, would also be open to indemnification.
After the PPP amendment, it would read: "The president shall have power to grant pardon, reprieve and respite, and to remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, tribunal or other authority or indemnify any act whatsoever."