Senate rules out compromise on people’s mandate

Senate-Pervez-Musharraf

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Friday declared that no compromise on the people’s mandate and the rule of law will be made. The Upper House adopted a unanimous resolution, rejecting certain parties’ demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and dissolution of the assemblies.

The resolution said, “This House rejects the demands from ‘certain parties’ for the resignation of the prime minister and dissolution of the assemblies and deplores the derogatory, instigating and defamatory language used by leaders of these parties.”

The Senate expressed the resolve and will for the rule of law and asserted democracy would flourish under the provisions of the Constitution. Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari chaired the sitting. After a debate on the current political situation, the session was prorogued sine die.

PPP’s Senator Saeed Ghani, who earlier moved a motion for suspension of the Question-Hour for resumption of debate on the situation arising out of the Azadi March and Revolution March of the PTI chief Imran Khan and PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, moved the resolution.

In his speech, Senator Afrasiab Khattak of the ANP regretted that a few thousand people had jointly decided to impose dictatorship on Pakistan. He claimed the Revolution March and Azadi March had turned out to be failures and now they wanted to dictate terms and derail democracy.

About the briefings given to senators on the budget, Khattak said they had been told 80-83 percent of the total budget went to loans payment, defence and administration while the remaining 17-20 percent was left at the disposal of civilian government.

Referring to the sit-ins here, he warned that if the future government did not land in the hands of elected representatives, then Pakistan could start walking on the path of Qaddafi’s Libya and Iraq of Saddam Hussain.

PPP’s Usman Saifullahpointed out that the ongoing events in Islamabad were affecting the nation’s war against terrorism. He believed had the government performed well, the present crisis would not have had erupted. However, he said they wanted the government to complete its term in office.

Senator Zafar Ali Shah of the PML-N recalled how Imran Khan had sided with General Musharraf during his referendum and then had to apologise to the nation for this. Zafar Ali Shah decried how Imran Khan had alleged while speaking to his supporters that those sitting in parliament were thieves and dacoits and asserted that he could not be allowed to use such derogatory language against the parliamentarians.

The PML-N parliamentary leader in the House, Mushahidullah Khan, said the government was showing restraint and patience with regard to the PTI and PAT sit-ins and asked the leaders of these parties to desist from using derogatory language in their speeches. He noted how ridiculous it was that the PAT and PTI were talking about bringing about a revolution against democracy and alleged that they were running away from talks because they had nothing to say.

MQM’s Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi noted that his party had emphasised dialogue for the resolution of the crisis. He lauded the government for showing patience regarding the sit-ins and urged for no repeat of the Model Town massacre, insisting that peaceful political activity was everybody’s right.

Mashhadi said the siege of the Parliament House was condemnable and deplored the difficulties being caused to the local citizens and economic losses. He said the PAT and PTI demands should be within the ambit of the Constitution.

Rubina Khalid of the PPP traced what she called collective madness on both the sides i.e. the PAT and PTI and the government. She also questioned why the media was giving round-the-clock coverage to their sit-ins and called for a mechanism for media control. Some senators were intrigued by playing of songs and dances at the PTI show.

The House admitted a privilege motion moved by Senator Farhatullah Babar of the PPP for further processing in the secretariat against the mobbing and vandalisation of parliament by crowds led by Tahirul Qadri and others.

Farhatullah Babar said that on Wednesday at around midday, he tried to enter the Parliament House to submit an adjournment motion in the Senate Secretariat about the outrageous breach of the Red Zone by charged mobs seemingly passing through various security cordons with ease and without any resistance.

He said he wanted the Senate to discuss at the first available opportunity the situation arising out of ‘triumph of mobocracy’ in dictating the national agenda.

The triumph of mob over parliament, he cautioned, posed an imminent threat to the nation’s security as it opened a distinct possibility that the stick wielding people, who had mobbed the Parliament House, might also demand control of the security assets of the Muslim world’s only nuclear power.

He said he sent the adjournment motion by an e-mail also but as a signed copy had also to be delivered, he had set out personally to deliver it as was required under the rules.However, he was not allowed to enter the Parliament’s premises as roads leading to it were blocked by the mobs and Allama Tahirul Qadri was roaring from the podium on loudspeakers asking the stick wielding crowd to seal parliament and not let anyone come out or get into it.

On the command of Qadri, he noted, the mob surged forward and began shaking the grilled gates of the Parliament House to bring it down.Never before a stick wielding mob, he pointed out, had been so instigated to attack the Parliament House and never before a charged mob had actually attacked it. Never before a member of parliament was physically stopped from carrying out his parliamentary function that required him to submit a motion in the Senate on a critical issue.

Indeed, he said, never before the entire parliament had been so vandalised, humiliated and abused even by dictators.Babar said that the mob crashed into the Red Zone after some of its leaders publicly pronounced parliament to be fake and un-representative and instigated them to drag the members out.

“A new script of political discourse was being unwittingly written. According to this script, the fate of political and democratic institutions will henceforth be determined by unruly mobs instead of the people voting at regular intervals in a peaceful, orderly and transparent manner,” he noted.

Acquiescing to mob’s self-assumed right to make political choices on the behalf of the people today, he cautioned, would degenerate tomorrow in unruly mobs gathered by banned and not-so-banned extremist outfits demanding to take control of the security assets of the Muslim world’s only nuclear power.

“It is a grim scenario that will instantly invite elements inimical to Pakistan’s security assets to fish into it and exploit it.”

Dilating upon the conspiracy theory, he said the inept provincial and federal governments provided an opportunity to fuel the fire by the June 17 massacre in Model Town.He said Imran Khan, who started his so-called march demanding vote audit, ended up with a six-point demand charter that did not include even the original demand of vote audit.

Clearly, he said, it seemed that a deliberate and calculated move was being orchestrated by some elements to first defame and then wind up parliament and the system to pave the way for dictatorship and called upon parliament to rise to the occasion to play a historic role at this critical hour. (Courtesy: The News)