Senators condemn action against PTI leaders, TV channel

Published May 26, 2022
A photo of PPP senator Raza Rabbani. — DawnNewsTV/File
A photo of PPP senator Raza Rabbani. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: Warning against bringing the system under threat, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani urged the government and the opposition on Wednesday to exercise restraint.

Speaking in the Senate on the current political situation, he said anarchy would only put the country’s territorial integrity at stake.

He said he was not talking about the third party as there were only two parties in the political system, but added that unfortunately both the parties appeared to be looking towards the third party.

He said although he was a staunch opponent of fascist policies and politics of PTI, being a democrat he could not condone the treatment being meted out to political workers of PTI.

Award of life imprisonment to Yasin Malik deplored

“While the protest is a democratic and political right of any party, it must be within parameters of law, peaceful and must not infringe upon fundamental rights of citizens,” the PPP leader said.

Mr Rabbani also condemned the life imprisonment awarded to iconic Kashmiri leader and JKLF chief Yasin Malik by an Indian court.

He said that all political parties and the military establishment must be clear on the Kashmir policy.

He said there could be no trade with India unless it reversed its steps taken against held Kashmir and stopped human rights abuses there.

Another member of the ruling coalition, Mr Mushahid Hussain Sayed, was more vocal in condemning some acts of the government, especially about the government decision to take a private TV channel off air.

“We had condemned action taken against Geo in the past and if it is happening with the ARY, it should also be condemned,” Mr Sayed said.

He also talked about cases registered against some journalists and said “it should not happen in a democracy”.

The PML-N senator said arrest of political activists and lawmakers without any legal recourse was wrong and not in the national interest.

“Pakistan is facing challenges and this kind of polarisation is against the country and democracy,” he warned.

Meanwhile, the treasury and the opposition benches continued to trade charges, with PTI members slamming the government for crackdown it launched against its leaders and workers, and the government insisting that it could not allow armed mobs to invade the capital.

Law Minister and Leader of the House in the Senate Azam Nazeer Tarar said that former prime minister Imran Khan was ousted by parliament in accordance with the Constitution and not through the use of force.

…..“Politicians should solve their problems in parliament. Imran was sent home through votes. The country’s problems can be collectively resolved on the floor of the House,” he emphasised while speaking in the Senate.

He made it clear that the law would take its course if the writ of the state was challenged.

PTI Senator Dr Humayun Mohmand said the government was stopping them from exercising their constitutional and democratic rights and that the result could be very dangerous.

“Those, I mean the establishment, which had installed these corrupt people on the nation, should not put at stake their own respect, as once it is lost, it is hardly regained. Don’t spoil yourself for the most wanted criminals,” the PTI senator said.

One of the lawmakers went to the extent of calling the interior minister a murderer, prompting Mr Tarar to explain that Mr Sanaullah had been acquitted by an anti-terrorism court after recording numerous statements of witnesses and the verdict had been upheld by the Lahore High Court.

PML-Q Senator Kamil Ali Agha and PTI’s Dost Mohammad also castigated the government and the police for trampling sanctity of the houses of PTI leaders and workers, particularly the grandson of Dr Allama Iqbal, Senator Walid Iqbal.

The question hour was suspended to allow members to speak on Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik’s sentence in a mock trial after law minister informed the House about the development.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2022

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