Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, whose National Party is a coalition partner of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, warned the country’s politicians to mend their ways and convene an all parties’ conference to publicly disown corrupt and terrorist elements in order to win the confidence of people.
“Otherwise democracy will remain in danger… even today it is said that General Raheel Sharif is running the country’s affairs,” he added.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid said that “there should be clear rules of the game”. The army’s popularity is rising because it is performing its professional duties – the government should also deliver, he added.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Senator Nauman Wazir endorsed Mushahid’s views. “Politicians are equally responsible for the past military takeovers. Today things are improving in Karachi because of the army,” he said, while referring to the Rangers-led targeted operation in the metropolis which has brought a marked improvement in law and order.
Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal advised the country’s political parties to support the incumbent government in completing its five-year constitutional tenure. “Otherwise some dictator may come to power again,” he warned.
PML-N Senator Iqbal Zafar Jhagra dismissed the fears of his fellow lawmakers. “I can confidently say that today civil-military relations are such that there is no challenge to democracy,” he said.
Chairman Raza Rabbani, however, insisted there was a ‘disequilibrium in civil-military relations’ and lamented that the Charter of Democracy was under clouds. “We should win back the confidence of the masses by showing zero-tolerance to corruption and make sure that all institutions perform their roles laid down in the Constitution.”
He said Article 6 of the Constitution had become redundant and that “no law or amendment can save parliament or the Constitution except the people”. The role of the security establishment came under discussion coincidently even before the debate in connection with Democracy Day.
PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar sought permission for admissibility of an adjournment motion seeking exclusive discussion on a statement given by former federal minister Mushahidullah Khan that ‘some elements’ in the security establishment had been allegedly involved in political reengineering of PTI’s long march last year. Senator Babar said there was a disconnect in civil-military relations. “It is an historical phenomenon and we should debate it,” he suggested. The chairman, however, deferred his decision on the motion till Wednesday.
Expressing displeasure over the absence of cabinet ministers from the session, Chairman Rabbani gave the fourth and ‘final’ warning to them, saying that “otherwise I will restrict entry of the ministers to this house”. He directed the privilege committee to issue notice to the inter-provincial coordination secretary as his absence resulted in postponement of debate on the NFC award.