The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) hasn’t learnt the lesson yet. The Supreme Court verdict on the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) extension ordinance should have been a wakeup call. It cannot, and must not ignore the Parliament.

Despite constant setbacks suffered due to its irreverent interpretation of the rules of democracy the party is still forging ahead with its policy of ordering rather than governing. The party may be in power for the first time, but it cannot claim ignorance of the democratic procedure – that has been around for centuries. Yet, firmly into its term the party is still riding roughshod over the checks and balances placed in the constitution by its framers.

PTI must understand that the reason the Supreme Court passed the buck to the Parliament on the COAS extension was not to absolve itself of responsibility, but to obey a cardinal democratic principle; that all important national decisions should be made by the parliament’s consensus. It proved to be a second chance for the government to do the process correctly.

Yet the same imperious haste and demeanor that characterized the original ordinance is being repeated in the passage of the bills related to the Army Act. The PTI’s urgency in “getting the job done” can be understood, but it must not forget why it is being asked to do all of this over again. Unusually speeding up and shortening the normal process of a constitutional amendment and legislation is the same rejection of democratic norms it was cautioned for. At this crucial juncture and on such an important law the government needs to show respect for the Parliament and the public.

It is hoped the government lets normal debate take place regarding these bills when the session reconvenes, and makes sure that it includes opposition views in the process.