Parliament will prevail over growing political blitz: Rabbani

Implication of SC verdict, PPP senator says SC verdict has potential to amplify political instability

Islamabad - Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Thursday expressed the hope that parliament will overcome the challenge of increasing political instability as a result of the Supreme Court’s verdict.

“I have also been repeatedly warning against undermining the parliament”, Rabbani said responding to the concerns raised by Senator Farhatullah Babar while speaking on a point of public importance in the Upper House.

Senator Babar said that although Nawaz Sharif was largely responsible for a situation, created as a result of the SC verdict, he could not applaud the verdict as a triumph for anyone and as Member of Parliament he could not rejoice over it.

“The Wednesday’s verdict has enlarged the scope of articles 62 and 63 on the one hand and on the other hand, has weakened the parliament by striking down a law passed by it,” said Senator Babar.

He said that “this is something that he will never applaud, notwithstanding the huge responsibility of Nawaz Sharif in arriving at this pass and the members of parliament themselves challenging the law passed by them”.

He said that for quite some time, a whispering campaign was going on suggesting that efforts were afoot to get the elections postponed and pave the way for a government of technocrats for three to four years to eventually re-write the political landscape of the country.

He said that the Wednesday verdict has the potential to increase political instability and asked the Parliament to play its role in averting instability. While abiding by the court verdict everyone now must act in a manner to avert instability, he said.

Responding to a point of public importance, Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal told the House that 213 Pakistani prisoners have been reportedly detained in Bagram prison in Afghanistan.

He said that the Afghan authorities have just shown three clusters of 25 prisoners each to Pakistani officials, but they were not sharing further details.

He said that the prisoners, shown to Pakistani officials, were in good health and fed properly. He said that the government was trying its best for early repatriation of all Pakistani prisoners.

Responding to another point of public importance, the minister for climate change told the House that the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has suspended its flight from Quetta to Dubai and Quetta to Turbat and Gwadar due to lack of aircraft.

Earlier, during the question-hour, Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman told the Senate that the government has committed over Rs20 billion in last four years for the provision of broadband services in Balochistan.

She said that the government was following a policy of providing ultra-high frequency (UHF) internet services to every citizen in the country. She said that such facilities were available in Mastung, Zhob, Sibbi, Kalat, Awaran and other areas of Balochistan.

The minister said that the government was also providing broadband internet services in three agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, while the facility will be extended to the rest of the tribal belt upon security clearance.

She said that a massive area of Dera Ismail Khan was also under UHF coverage.

Responding to another question, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed said that PIA has become more autonomous since when it has been made a limited company.

The minister said that the PIA was finalizing its strategic business plan 2018-22 to turnaround the airline and making it a profitable entity. The House was adjourned to meet again today (Friday) at 10:30 am.

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