Constitutional amendments in Pakistan have historically been controversial affairs, often representing a regression from the perspective of advancing democracy, civil liberties and human rights. They are generally passed under democratically elected governments unabashedly resorting to majoritarianism, or by military rulers equally unabashed in utilizing extra-constitutional means, intimidation and violence. Consider that the Second Amendment (1975) legally “excommunicated” members of the Ahmedi Muslim community, defining them as non-Muslims; the now defunct Eighth Amendment (1985) passed by a military dictator turned Pakistan from a parliamentary to a semi-presidential form of government, even allowing the President (constitutionally an unelected figurehead) to dissolve Parliament; and more recently the Twenty-First Amendment (2015), which set up military tribunals outside of the purview of the judiciary to try persons charged with terrorism offences. The relative merits of these amendments and others have spurred prolonged public debates and media scrutiny that continue to the present day.
Not so the latest Twenty-Second Amendment.