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Parliament to resist dictators

August 30, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Aug 29: Democracy is a transitional process and it is illogical to expect that all the issues will be addressed within one parliamentary period. If the system persists, problems and flaws will be solved with the passage of time.

It was the consensus among participants of roundtable discussion ‘Role of Parliament in Democratic Transition and Governance’ organised by South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) on Wednesday.

Human rights activist and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Director I.A. Rehman while talking to participants said that there is practically a two party system in the country and it should be further strengthened.

“Non-party election held by Ziaul Haq badly affected the political system but unfortunately political parties did not try to get rid of it. Even now people have been talking about the local body election which is a form of non-party system. Parliament has to declare that there will be no non-party elections,” he said.

“At the moment in Pakistan sovereignty belongs to some departments, we have to make ensure sovereignty of people,” he said.

Mr Rehman said that parliament has been playing a role of colonialism due to which people never raised voice against dictatorship. It is the obligation of the parliament to involve the people in decision making,” he said.

Leader of National Party, Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bazinjo said that leaders never gave importance to parliament.

“Former Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan said that he does not need parliament to become Prime Minister. It was unfortunate that we had that kind of politicians,” he saidv “The positive thing is that political parties never gave-up against dictators. With the passage of time political parties are becoming mature and their confidence is building,” he said.

Member of National Assembly, Bushra Gohar, who belongs to Awami National Party, said that politicians have sacrificed their lives. 600 leaders and workers of ANP have been killed just because of stance against Taliban.

“Politicians cannot discuss finance and foreign policy. They have been compromising for the continuity of system. With the passage of time things are becoming better,” she said.

Chairperson SAHR, Hina Jilani said that multi party system in the country is very much different as it was in past. Agenda and policies of political parties have resemblance. That is why three constitutional amendments have been passed by political parties.

Civic Centre for Education, Executive Director Zafarullah Khan while discussing the institutional independence and accountability of parliament, said that as many as 170 private member bills have been submitted during the present government tenure. It is a positive sign but unfortunately there is no progress on them, he added.

Human rights activist Marvi Sirmed while giving a presentation said: “Authority comes along with integrity. We will remain in transitional period for a long time because we have involved religion into politics. Parliament should have role in budget making.”