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National News
October 13,2015

Parliament under fire in Senate over Oct 12 coup

Shafiq Awan
ISLAMABAD: Senate condemned toppling of a democratic government by Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf on October 12, 1999 but deplored that Parliament was not effective to hold accountable the responsible for this coup.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPPP) kept mum over the issue shocking many. Members of Senate believed by avoiding criticism of the coup-maker, PPPP aimed to please those who wields real power. No doubt it was most vocal party over the issue in the past. But Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani did contribute vehemently against the October 12, 1999 action.
Another surprise was that instead of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawz (PML-N), Pashtoon Khawa Milli Awami Party’s (PKMAP) Senator Usman Kakar moved the motion over the issue. In the past usually PML-N’s Mushahidullah took this credit.
Kakar well pointed out that the Senate was discussing the October 12 tragedy but the person who was responsible for this is still free from any accountability. According to him parliament should be a watchdog for any onslaught against democracy but it is ineffective.
Sardar Azam Khan Musa Khel opined that if the parliament could not defend democracy how it can win the trust of the people.
PPP’s Saeed Ghani preferred to discuss anomalies in NA 122 by-elections instead of the October 12 incident, though he admitted his party was the worst victim of martial law.
Lt General Salahuddin Trmizi impressed many when he urged his fellow parliamentarians to add a phrase in the nomination papers that they will not support any dictatorship but the House did not buy his idea.
Nehal Hashmi wanted the political parties to expel supporters of dictatorship from their fold as even in the PML-N the leftovers of dictatorship are visible.
It is also a fact that there is no saint or sacred cow in this field and every party, for one reason or another, has some share of remains of dictators in their fold.
Mushahidullah criticized judges for taking oath from General Musharraf. He demanded across the board accountability and was of the view that targeted accountability would be counter productive.
Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif came to Wapda’s rescue while commenting on the Nepra report, in which it mentioned 70 percent meters of Wapda are faulty. He clarified that this report was based on the audit of three million TOU (Time-of-Use) meters while the total consumers are around 30 million following which the ratio of faulty meters is just 1.40 per cent.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Aftab Sheikh was once again embarrassed by the bureaucracy as he was not briefed on Senator Javed Abbasi’s motion about increasing rate of population and its overall impact on living conditions. The chairman took notice of it. When Abbasi moved the motion, Aftab explained to the Chair that he was not in a position to respond as he was not briefed on the issue.

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