Senators on Thursday criticised the alleged involvement of the military establishment and the judiciary in the country’s political affairs while holding a debate on the alleged misuse of powers by the state institutions.
PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said that institutional dialogues between parliament, the military establishment and the judiciary were held across the world so as to avert a collision between the institutions.
He, however, said that as far as Pakistan is concerned, the matter was “much more complicated than just an issue of imbalance in powers of the state institutions”.
“The powers of the parliament, the judiciary and the civilian establishment were being shifted from Islamabad to Rawalpindi,” Babar claimed, adding that in some instances “the powers had already been handed over to Rawalpindi”.
“Powers have been transferred to the people who consider themselves above the law, which is a matter of grave concern,” Babar remarked.
The situation has further deteriorated during the past two days, the PPP leader claimed. “The parliament missed the chance to bring everyone under the ambit of accountability, as it has now been decided to hold everyone accountable except the judges and generals,” he maintained.
“I was disappointed that my own party stepped back from its demand of bringing everyone under the ambit of accountability.”
PML-N Senator Saood Majeed said the executive did not exercise its powers. He was of the view that “the third pillar of the state” had inflicted most harm upon the country. He alleged that the judiciary had encroached upon the powers of the parliament.
If the government fails to discharge its responsibilities, “then space is open for some other institution to step forward to fill that gap. Instead of learning a lesson, we all are looking around,” he remarked.
PML-N Senator Jawed Abbasi alleged that the judiciary had enjoyed the powers of the executive following the campaign for the restoration of judges. He was of the view that attempts have been made in all tenures to curtail the powers of the parliament.
PPP Senator Taj Haider stressed the need to identify those who were enfeebling the democracy. “The parliament will have to try and bring an end to money laundering,” he said.
PkMAP Senator Usman Kakar viewed that the civil-military bureaucracy was attacking the parliament. He alleged that the judiciary holds a bad record as “it had legalised the dictatorial governments”.
Balochistan National Party Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini suggested that the heads of the judiciary and the army should be appointed after taking approval from the upper house.
MQM Senator Tahir Mashidi also alleged that the army plays an important in the politics of the country.