ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani has expressed concern over “judicial ingress” into the affairs of parliament and assemblies and termed it a total “surrender” of their independence by politicians and lawmakers.

“Today parliament and the provincial assemblies have all but surrendered their independence envisaged in the Constitution. As the superior judiciary issues directions on the internal proceedings of the houses, there is no one to blame but myself,” said Mr Rabbani in a statement issued here on Friday when the Supreme Court, after hours-long hearing on the PTI’s petition, ordered re-election of the Punjab chief minister on July 22, five days after by-elections on 20 Punjab Assembly seats.

Mr Rabbani had also expressed similar feelings when in April, the Supreme Court had to intervene during the vote of no-confidence against the then prime minister, Imran Khan.

In his statement, Mr Rabbani said that Pakistan’s ruling elite had already made parliament redundant and provincial assemblies had been made rubber stamps.

Mr Rabbani, who had also served as the Senate chairman, regretted that the manner in which civilian office-holders functioning under the Constitution, willfully violated the Constitution, had “brought us to a stage where the internal proceedings of the house, are run on the dotted line provided by the courts”.

This space lost by political parties, he said, might not be recovered in at least “our lifetime”.

“The parliament is being suffocated by the executive and the ruling elite.”

“The judicial ingress in the internal proceedings and the doctrine of ‘reading in’ are also not helping,” he said.

The PPP senator was of the view that the political parties must take blinders off their eyes before even the ashes were blown by the wind.

“The parliament and the provincial assemblies are crying out to the real sovereign, the people, let me breathe,” he concluded.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2022

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