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PPP warns against attempts to derail democracy

August 31, 2013
Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Mian Raza Rabbani. — File Photo
Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Mian Raza Rabbani. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party on Friday warned against ‘systematic’ efforts being made to derail democracy in the country and called for unity among political parties to foil such attempts.

Taking part in the debate on the presidential address to the joint sitting of both houses of parliament, PPP Senator Mian Raza Rabbani said an analysis of the situation showed that there were threats to the constitution. He pointed out that the day after a leader talked of a possible dissolution of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, a demand was made for handing over Karachi to the army under article 245

He said whenever article 245 was invoked, the enforcement of law went beyond the area where the army had been called out. He said such a situation was being created which would affect only the three smaller provinces but not Punjab. He warned that if the system was derailed, a long struggle would be required for restoration of democracy.

The PPP senator said through the National Security Council, the supremacy of civil institutions on security matters was being surrendered to the military organisations. He accused the government of ignoring parliament and regretted that despite repeated requests the adviser to prime minister on foreign affairs had not bothered to come to the house to make a policy statement.

Former leader of opposition in the Senate and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said that a ban should be imposed on all those political parties that had militant wings. Describing Karachi as the economic jugular vein of the country, he said political parties should be directed to abolish their militant wings and those who failed to do so should be proceeded against.

Zahid Khan of the Awami National Party accused the government of concealing facts from parliament. Mr Khan, who heads the Senate’s Standing Committee on Water and Power, said the government had persistently told lies about power generation and announced that he would investigate the payment of Rs500 billion to clear the circular debt.

Jehangir Badr of PPP conceded that the PPP government could not deliver during its five-year tenure. He then folded his hands in a gesture of offering apology to PPP workers and the people of Pakistan.

Jaffar Iqbal of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz said Asif Ali Zardari took unconstitutional decisions while holding the office of the president. He said there was no provision in the constitution for the appointment of a deputy prime minister, yet the post was created and given to PML-Q. He said Mr Zardari made it sure that terrorists and murderers convicted by courts of law were not executed during his tenure.

WALKOUT: Opposition senators walked out of the house in protest against the killing of Zafarullah Khan on the day of by-election and abduction of a senior leader of Balochistan National Party-Awami.ANP’s Daud Achakzai said that his relative Zafarullah Khan was killed on Aug 22, but a case had not been registered yet. He said a senior BNP-A leader was missing and announced that he would stage a walkout as a mark of protest.

Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan of PPP observed that both non-registration of a case and the abduction of a BNP-A leader were alarming. He announced that the entire opposition would join the walkout.

Haji Ghulam Ali of JUI-F said that Director and Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence in Karachi were involved in incidents of kidnapping.The house passed a resolution expressing gratitude to the president for his address to the joint sitting of parliament on June 10.

The house was prorogued sine die.

Meanwhile, 40 opposition senators submitted a requisition in the Senate secretariat on Friday. A PPP leader said the opposition wanted the adviser on foreign affairs to make a policy statement before the house.