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Senators express resolve to fight threats to federation

January 03, 2013

A view of the Senate in session.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Senators from treasury and opposition benches on Thursday reiterated their resolve to fight threats to democracy from undemocratic forces and to protect the sanctity of the constitution at all costs.

Speaking on a point of order, PPP's Mian Raza Rabbani expressed his concern over the demands being made by Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran chief Dr Tahirul Qadri for electoral reforms before elections. "It is a breach of the constitution in the name of constitutionalism,” he said.

He cautioned that if any such move was made to breach the constitution, it would have severe consequences for the federation. He said that only the constitution could safeguard the federation from all threats.

"The idea nurtured by military dictators is again being promoted that accountability and electoral reforms are a must even if the polls are delayed. The stage is being set to violate the constitution in the name of implementation of constitutional clauses," he added.

Rabbani said that Dr Qadri was 'preaching for breaching the constitution' and implementation of his recommendations would be tantamount to be an extra-constitutional act.

MQM's Col Tahir Hussain Mashhadi said that his party has always called for changing the system.

“We will hold polls on time. We are in coalition with the PPP and this coalition will remain intact. We are against delaying the elections,” he added.

"The MQM wants reforms, but it will never go for anti-democratic powers," he added.

Saeed Ghani said that Dr Qadri was conducting intellectual corruption and that the people should be informed about this.

"A new drama is being played to get him appointed as caretaker prime minister, but how can a person, who does not want to relinquish his Canadian citizenship, talk of the rights of the people of Pakistan," he commented.

PML-N's Mushahidullah Khan said that Qadri should have led a long march against the Musharraf dictatorship instead of supporting it.

"How could a Canadian national impose his terms on the country?" he questioned.

PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said that any amendments and reforms in the constitution must be made through a democratic process. He said that there were forces which wanted to bring about change through undemocratic means. He also said that Dr Qadri himself had refused to give up his Canadian nationality.

The members also paid tribute to ANP leader Bashir Bilour, who was killed in a suicide attack and for the late Prof Ghafoor Ahmed, the former senator of Jamaat Islami, who passed away recently in Karachi.