Monday May 16, 2022

Missing person cases in a democracy unacceptable: Rabbani

By our correspondents
March 26, 2017

Senate chairman says there shouldn’t be separate
laws for accountability of judiciary and military

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani said on Saturday that the existence of missing person cases in a democratic dispensation was unacceptable.

“I concede that being the Senate chairman, I haven’t been able to anything for missing people,” he added.

Speaking at a programme at Bahria University, Rabbani said the phenomenon of missing persons was created by dictators.

“The Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to every citizen and a democratic society should not allow the creation of a state within a state,” he added.

The Senate chairman said anti-corruption laws should be uniform for everyone in the country. “There shouldn’t be separate laws for the accountability of the judiciary and military.”

Rabbani said it was the Senate, which had first taken notice of the law that allowed plea bargaining with people accused of corruption.

He added that corruption, instead of declining, had increased manifold in the country because of the existence of the National Accountability Bureau.

Rabbani said a person accused of committing corruption could secure his freedom after paying a paltry sum of money though plea bargaining.

“Owing to 18th Constitutional Amendment, the province have been granted their rights but it’s regrettable that education and health are not among the priorities of anyone. This includes the [Sindh] government of my own party [the Pakistan People’s Party],” he remarked.

He assured the audience that the system of student unions would soon be revived in the country.

He added that during the regime of former military ruler Gen Ziaul Haq, student and trade unions were banned and the voices of the country’s intellectuals were suppressed.

“Gen Ziaul Haq had amendments of his own choice inserted in the Constitution.  During Zia’s regime, the coffee house culture that allowed intellect discussions to take place was banned and religious organisations were granted freedom.”

Rabbani regretted that the present-day education curriculum contained more arguments in favour of dictatorial systems instead of educating students about the benefits of the continuity of the democratic dispensation in the country.

He said Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was in favour of a parliamentary system of governance as it was the best in the present situation and the presidential system was no more required in the country.

“The Quaid-e-Azam had founded Pakistan fundamentally to establish a welfare state but the teachings and ideology of founder of the nation have been forgotten and the objective for which Pakistan was created has been altered.”

Rabbani said he was proud of being a political activist, but a negative propaganda had been continuously spread against politicians to create the misperception that all of them were corrupt.  “The things, which should have taken place in Pakistan, are not happening here,” he added.