ISLAMABAD: Noting that parliament is being defanged of its independence and constitutional role, former Senate chairman and PPP leader Mian Raza Rabbani has called for initiating a ‘save parliament’ move.
He said the Senate chairman and the National Assembly speaker should invite former presiding officers of the two houses of parliament to assess the situation and suggest a way forward.
“This is a serious issue in a diverse federation such as Pakistan as parliament is the lynchpin of the federation. A weak parliament is a weak federal Pakistan,” Mr Rabbani said.
He said the Senate chairman and the NA speaker should lock their houses as proceedings of a municipal committee had more sanctity. He said all institutions of the state functioning through or under the Constitution were disregarding the concept of trichotomy of power, independence and Article 69 in respect of parliament.
“As I had warned earlier, the Supreme Court’s detailed reasoning in the matter of the deputy speaker of the National Assembly is being misconstrued and the ambit of Article 69 of Constitution is being overstepped,” he said.
The PPP leader said that placing fetters on the functioning of parliamentary committees would affect the legislature’s independence and would hamper parliamentary oversight.
He criticised the government for its failure to place and discuss important agreements and policies in parliament. “The terms of the staff-level agreement with the IMF have not been laid in parliament. Parliament, not a select group of parliamentarians, is unaware of the negotiations with the TTP,” he said.
Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2022