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Preserving National Security within the Rule of Law Framework in Pakistan

Dr. Faqir Hussain

The maintenance of national security is a vital function of the State,
performed through the use of all available resources including the defense
forces, economic/financial resources and the art of diplomacy. But the
preservation of rule of law is of no less significance, it being a key element
of constitutional governance and democratic dispensation. In extraordinary
circumstances with real and present threat to national security/integrity, the
Government can strike a balance between the needs to protect State/society
and preserve individual freedom. Under the Constitution of Pakistan, the
proclamation of Emergency and/or deployment of armed forces (Article
245), in aid of civil power, entail the abridgement of certain fundamental
rights/freedoms. The 21st Amendment however travels beyond the
prescribed limits and disturbs the delicate balance by taking away the
constitutional safeguards of fair trial. The defects/shortcomings in criminal
justice system cannot be a pretext for its substitution by an alien system,
untenable under the law/Constitution.

Keywords: National Security, Rule of Law, 21st Amendment, Emergency,
Legal/Judicial Reforms