Senator Raza Rabbani warns ‘intervention’ to affect parliament

Published July 27, 2022
Senator Raza Rabbani wrote letters to the Senate chairman and National Assembly on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV
Senator Raza Rabbani wrote letters to the Senate chairman and National Assembly on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV

ISLAMABAD: Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani has warned that any “soft intervention” by the military would directly affect the parliament.

In separate but identical letters to the Senate chairman and the National Assembly speaker, Mr Rabbani urged them to play their role in saving the parliament, insisting that the federal and parliamentary character and system in Pakistan had been under persistent attack from the ruling elite.

The PPP senator said that during Pakistan’s 75-year history, the elite had experimented with several governing systems, including military dictatorships, One Unit, presidential and quasi-presidential forms, party-less elections, unelected majlis-i-shoora (parliament), and chief executive and controlled parliamentary systems.

“These systems were against the grain of the founding father’s vision for Pakistan,” he wrote. “They were unable to appreciate the political, economic and cultural diversity of the federation.”

Deplores Pakistan’s ‘Ayubian’ elite, likens it to Bonapartists

He said parliament was deliberately crippled and thus failed to synthesise this heterogeneity and fell into disarray.

Mr Rabbani said that similar to Bonapartists, supporters of the political movement in France that aimed to restore the French empire under the house of Bonaparte, a part of the ruling elite in Pakistan was Ayubian and had always sought to restore the constitution of 1962 and its economic and cultural dispensation.

In order to achieve such ends with mala fide intent, the inclusiveness of parliament was being replaced by the marginalisation of provinces and their diverse people, Mr Rabbani said.

“The systematic feeding of parliament on bacteria and fungi have caused the rot to start and the process of decomposing parliament has started,” he said.

“As a result of which, the trichotomy of power envisaged in the Constitution is being trampled, the unbridled right of parliament to legislate within the limits defined by the Constitution is being questioned, presiding officers are being summoned, and Article 69 of the Constitution has all but ceased to exist.”

He asked the Senate chairman and the National Assembly speaker to act collectively to preserve and protect the parliament as envisaged in the Constitution.

Mr Rabbani also floated the idea that a meeting of surviving presiding officers of both houses be called to assess the situation and suggest a way forward to "save parliament".

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2022

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