ISLAMABAD - The speakers at a national dialogue on Sunday said that the Parliament has failed to play its role to resolve the present political crisis in the country that emerged after the opposition’s move to bring a no-trust motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan to oust him from power.

Speaking at the “Dialogue Pakistan 2022”, they said that it was the primary responsibility, besides others, of the Parliament to be responsive to all crises related to economy, governance and politics etc. But the existing parliament has failed to find any solution to the current political upheaval that is fast moving towards bringing political and economic instability in the country.

“Dialogue Pakistan 2022” was organised by Islamabad-based Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) here at a local, as part of its annual flagship event, in an effort to stimulate policy discussions on key issues related to politics, transparency, governance, peace and security in the country.

Senior leader of Balochistan National Party and member Balochistan Assembly Sanaullah Baloch taking part in the session on “The future of Parliament, constitution, and democracy” said that Parliament should be “responsible, true representative and responsive” to all crises. He deplored that the present Parliament didn’t fulfil all three criteria or responsibilities. He said that Parliament used to have its own code of conduct to fulfil its responsibilities in a crisis like situation.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Qamar Zaman Kaira stressed that masses, and civil society would have to play their role, and public pressure needed to be built on the institutions to ensure that the same could function and deliver properly. He said that they would have to give space to the Parliament by standing behind the institution. “At present, the space for the Parliament is continuously shrinking.”

Say Parliament’s primary responsibility to be responsive to crises related to economy, governance, politics

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Raoof Hasan in his remarks said that the concept of reconciliation without truth becomes irrelevant. He said that political parties did not want to bring an independent system of accountability that could hold responsible both the powerful and the common people without any discrimination. He said that in the present system, the powerful elite did not want itself to be held accountable. “There is no concept of rights without responsibility.”

Former National Security Advisor Lt Gen (Retd) Nasser Khan Janjua taking part in the session on “Taliban’s Afghanistan, and challenges for Pakistan” said that future of the region lies in connectivity and Pakistan can become a trade corridor of Asia by getting access to Central Asian States through Afghanistan. “Afghanistan is our partner for the future.”

PIPS during the event also launched “Charter of Peace” – a document laying down recommendations for countering radicalisation and extremism in Pakistan. The document has been designed after several consultations with stakeholders including religious and political leadership of the country. PIPS – a policy research and advocacy institute – also launched another national report on “How Youth in Pakistan View State, Society, Religion, and Politics.” The report contains views of over 700 university students surveyed by the institute from all across the country.

Ambassador of Netherlands to Islamabad Wouter Plomp in his opening remarks at the launching ceremony of the report said that youth was part of the solution given they were provided opportunities to think rationally. The concerns about Single National Curriculum (SNC) must be addressed to make the syllabus inclusive, he added.

This year’s discussion themes of Dialogue Pakistan 2022 include “The future of Parliament, Constitution, and democracy; Taliban’s Afghanistan, and challenges for Pakistan; the debate on freedom of expression: where does the problem lie? and policy discourse on governance, and transparency.”