Institutions need to work within constitutional limits: Raza Rabbani

Institutions need to work within constitutional limits: Raza Rabbani

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Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani, during a debate on institutional powers in the Senate on Friday, said that all institutions need to correct their directions and work within the constitutional limits.

Rabbani said that determining the authority of institutions is a very important matter and that all institutions should work within the limits stated in the Constitution. However, he said, merely debating the matter would be of no use and the parliament would have to show the direction to all institutions. “A direction that will be shown by the senate.”

“When all the institutions were trying to escape accountability, members of the senate presented themselves for accountability,” he said.

Participating in the debate, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM) Senator Nighat Mirza said: “The judiciary takes offence on everything and issues contempt notices but has it thought about its own character?”

“Innocent people are picked up and thrown in jails, and if the judiciary discriminates in providing justice, where should one go for justice?” she asked.

Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Senator Azam Musakhel suggested that there should be an institution for accountability of all institutions, adding that the parliament was the weakest of all institutions.

PML-F Senator Muzaffar Hussain Shah, however, said that the courts could not be blamed for the parliament’s shortcomings. “It was our responsibility to revoke Articles 62 and 63 [of the Constitution] but we did not fulfil that responsibility and the articles are still a part of the Constitution.”

“Parliament decides on limits of every institution, including the courts, but other institutions cannot be held responsible for the parliament failing to use its own powers.”

Extremism in educational institutes

Terrorism will not end through operations but by changing people’s mindset, Senator Farhatullah Babar said.

According to Senator Babar, history in Pakistan has been distorted and even Quaid-e-Azam’s diary has not been spared. “Those who hold an opinion that is different from the state’s narrative are arrested.”

He pointed out that the government has failed to provide a progress report on the cyber crime law to the parliament, even though it had committed to providing [a report] every six months when the bill became a law.

At this, Rabbani ordered that the report be presented before the senate.

The senate also debated on an adjournment motion on extremism in educational institutes. Senator Usman Kakar said that the curriculum needs to be changed and that extremist literature is a part of training in madrassahs. “Madrassahs should be controlled and brought into the ambit of the law,” he demanded.

Senator Attaur Rehman, however, refuted Kakar’s claim, saying that madrassahs are not centres of terrorist training and neither are such training centres created by religious scholars. He instead expressed concern over what is being taught in universities.

PML-N’s Senator Pervez Rasheed said that the curriculum cannot be changed unless the state clearly determines its objectives. He demanded that the narrative in Pakistan should be based on the teachings of the country’s founder.

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