Pakistan has waded from one crisis to another, says Rabbani

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Senator Raza Rabbani speaks during the launch of his book on Friday. — White Star
Senator Raza Rabbani speaks during the launch of his book on Friday. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Friday called for intra-institutional dialogue.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of his book, Entangled Threads — A ruling Never Given at the National Press Club, Mr Rabbani said ever since its inception, Pakistan has waded from one crisis to another, adding that these crises have precipitated into “crises of the state”.

The Constitution is in existence but is yet in abeyance, Parliament functions but yet it is redundant, transparency is preached but yet it is driven by a political agenda and the structures of the government are there but yet there is no governance, he said.

Talking about the current parliament, the former Senate chairman said dictator Ziaul Haq’s Shura was far better than this parliament, as it had failed to do legislation, accountability and taking up public issues.

“It’s a sham Shura,” he said.

Sharing the background of his 82-page book, the senator said that in 2016-17, he had proposed an intra-institutional dialogue but then realised that what must precede is a strict adherence to the concept of trichotomy of power provided in the Constitution of 1973. Therefore, he said, he drafted a Ruling, in his capacity as the then Senate chairman.

“Unfortunately, the intra-institutional polarisation, the internal political situation and the uncertainty surrounding my own political career prevented me from announcing it. In my last speech as the chairman, I informed the House of such ruling and promised that in the days ahead I will make it public,” he said, adding that he had made the said ruling public in the shape of this book to generate public debate to bring constitutional sanity.

He said that Entangled Threads a Ruling Never Given, is an attempt to state in simple words what trichotomy of power is i.e the role of each institution, the Executive, the Judiciary and Parliament as defined in the Constitution along with checks and balances so as not to interfere in the working and functioning of each institution.

Meanwhile, to a query about lawyers’ hooliganism in Lahore, Senator Rabbani, who is also a lawyer and constitutional expert, said that what happened inside the Punjab Institute of Cardiology and outside is condemnable.

However, he said if timely intervention was made by the government, this incident could have been averted.

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2019