ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani says democratic and progressive Pakistan is guarantee to its safety and security.
He was addressing a farewell lunch at the Parliament House in Islamabad Tuesday that was given in his honor by Parliamentary Reporters Association.
“I want to relinquish my charge as Chairman Senate without causing any further ranker between Institutions and departments working through or under the Constitution, in the spirit of my visit to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and coming of the Chief of the Army Staff to the Senate’s Committee of the Whole,” he said.
He said the country is passing through a critical juncture at the moment where the march to democracy continues and an undemocratic thinking and behavior still creating hurdles in the way.
He said that events of the last few days have compelled his conscience to draw the attention of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, in a spirit of understanding, that while the Supreme Court in the detailed judgment in the matter of Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta vs Federation of Pakistan has shown constraint in going beyond the veil of ‘internal proceedings’ of the Parliament in terms of Article 69, Constitution, 1973.
The relevant portion of the Judgment is reproduced as under: “It appears that the Bill was voted in the Senate of Pakistan on 22.09.2017. We have been informed that various amendments in the said Bill were proposed by some political parties, including the retention of the afore noted proviso to Section 5 of the Order, 2002. It may also be noted that except for the proviso, Section 5 of the Order, 2002 was retained in its original form in the proposed Bill.
However, it appears that most of the amendments suggested by various parties were not incorporated. The Petitioners have vehemently argued that proceedings before the Senate of Pakistan were fundamentally questionable and flawed.
However, we do not wish to enter into this controversy in due deference to the provisions of Article 69 of the Constitution especially so where no specific grounds have been urged that may justify probe and scrutiny of the process by which the Bill was passed in the Senate of Pakistan. We have gone through the record of debates on the Bill and find that no purposeful debates on the Bill took place in the Senate of Pakistan. Nevertheless, we would not like to delve deeper in the said aspect of the issue.”
He said that the Judgment being authored by the Chief Justice himself, such restrain needs to be exhibited by the other High Courts, Courts, Judicial and quasi-judicial Tribunals functioning under the Constitution or any other law for the time being in force as the Judiciary and Parliament are not at the cross purpose, the aim of both is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.
Raza Rabbani said it is unfortunate that a contempt notice should be issued to a Speaker of an Assembly. Similarly, information sought by the Islamabad High Court also infringes upon the well establish concept of ‘internal proceedings’ of the Parliament.
“I would have met the Chief Justice of Pakistan to iron out these intra institutional and intra jurisdictional issues but unfortunately the constraint of time does not permit me. Nevertheless, the Office of the Chairman Senate in an office in perpetuity and that Office would like an amicable settlement of these jurisdictional issues in the light of institutional respect and the mandate laid down for each organ of the State under the concept of tracheotomy of powers in the Constitution, 1973,” the Chairman Senate said.
“I am confident that my successor will carry this torch even if it means of calling on the Chief Justice of Pakistan again,” Rabbani concluded.