Senate to invite PM, chief justice, military leaders for 'inter-institutional dialogue'

The Senate on Thursday decided to invite the civil government's representatives, the military bureaucracy, and the chief justice for an inter-institutional dialogue to strengthen the Parliament.

The Senate, while debating on the post-Panama case scenario, decided to invite the top brass of the three most powerful institutions of the state to a session of the Senate.

Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani on Thursday said that strengthening the Parliament is a shared responsibility, so an inter-institutional dialogue should be held in this regard. A whole committee session will be held to deliberate upon the suggestions to strengthen democracy, he said, adding that the session would continue till substantial suggestions are not agreed.

The chairman further said that as the army operates under the civil government so the military bureaucracy will be invited through the prime minister.

Earlier during the debate, he said that the Senate has been functioning with the lowest level of powers as compared to the civil administration and the judiciary. He claimed that the judiciary, the dictatorship, and the executive targeted the Senate separately.

Rabbani complained that political parties were also not taking the Senate seriously and that internal and external security related issues were not presented for debate on the floor.

Elaborating his viewpoint, he said that the prime minister issues policy statements in press conferences and political conventions, instead of the Senate, whereas, the thin attendance of the premier and ministers create hurdles in the smooth flow of the business of the house.

He further said that the majority of decisions were being taken out of the Senate, whereas, the details of special agreements and big loans were also not presented before the Senate. He further said that the ruling of the chair goes unheeded.

The chairman asked the senators to keep in mind the above-stated scenario while debating the situation after the Panamagate verdict.

PPP Senator Dr Kareem Khawaja in his speech claimed that the judiciary has always supported the General Headquarters (GHQ). He was of the view that the judiciary should be subordinate to the Parliament. He also claimed that the foreign policy is also out of the Parliament's domain.

PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar raised question marks over the credibility of those judges who took oath under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO), saying that the judges violated the Constitution. "Are those judges who took oath under PCO sadiq and ameen (truthful and honest)," he questioned.

"Are truthfulness and honesty not applicable for senior military officials," he asked.

Babar was of the view that the status-quo will remain intact until and unless the truthfulness and honesty are not defined clearly.

He also asked that will the Parliament talk about across the board accountability. Any attempt to eliminate corruption will be useless without across the board accountability, he remarked.

The senator demanded that the Article 184/3 be deliberated and amended if needed.

Senator Sirajul Haq, the chief of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), said that the Article 62 and 63 should also be applied on judges and generals.

Senators also expressed their views about the rally of Nawaz Sharif. They said that the rally irked the citizens. The session also condemned the torture against journalists during the rally. Later a resolution was also passed to express solidarity with the journalist fraternity.




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