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August 12, 2017

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Pakistan can’t withstand confrontation among institutions: Rabbani

Pakistan can’t withstand confrontation among institutions: Rabbani

ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Friday said inter-institutional dialogue was the need of the hour to rid Pakistan of the quagmire of uncertainty and put it on the track towards socio-economic prosperity, as the country cannot withstand confrontation among the institutions.

He was addressing the participants of a conference held in connection with the celebration of 70 years of Parliament of Pakistan at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services and a function at Lok Virsa. Rabbani said that confrontation among the institutions had slowed down the development process and dialogue was the way forward to alleviate the inter-institutional reservations.

Rabbani warned that Pakistan was no more in a position to withstand the politics of confrontation and noted that the Constitution had determined limits for all the institutions and there was a dire need to work within the parameters defined in the Constitution to make the country prosperous.

He maintained that Pakistan was a multi-lingual and multi-ethnic country.  However, a centrist mindset had always tried to hoodwink the masses and strangulate the history. “They forgot the fact that unity emanates from diversity. The ruling elite wanted a system in which citizenry is unaware of their history so that no one could question the state,” he noted.  

The Senate chairman pointed out that Quaid-e-Azam gave the concept of a welfare state having democratic, federal and progressive character.  However, Rabbani said that unfortunately the concept of welfare state was overwhelmed by security state resulting in changing the priorities.

Rabbani said that Pakistan had seen 18 prime ministers being de-seated and “this was the establishment’s plot all along”.

“It was a well-thought-out plan; however, they did not anticipate that democracy would slowly take root in this country. We saw that when Yusuf Raza Gilani was removed from power, a new prime minister took his place; the same happened when Nawaz was recently removed,” Rabbani noted.

He said that all the pillars of the state needed to come together to solve the country’s problems as ‘enough games had been played with this nation’.

“Pakistan’s ideology was changed and twisted into something it was not, and the idea of a welfare state was turned into the idea of a national security state,” he said and added that if the government and those in power were not taking the country in the right direction, the common man should rise and take charge.

About the Sindh government’s efforts to repeal the National Accountability Ordinance in the province, Rabbani said, “Whenever there is talk about the rights of provinces, people are termed traitors as the Centre wants to withhold powers. However, we forget that four of the Quaid-i-Azam’s 14 points were about provincial autonomy.”

Rabbani contended if we call ourselves Pakistanis first, people take it as an offence and say why we have not called ourselves Muslim first. This suits the country’s elite.

“Sindh is not the only province to have done away with the NAB ordinance, but our decision was taken to court while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had already come up with its accountability set-up,” he maintained.

Rabbani lamented that from the very beginning, Pakistan was a Federation but whenever anyone talked about autonomy or having control over resources, he was dubbed as a traitor, and the only objective of the Centre was to continue having control over the provincial resources.

He said that history had been distorted and there was no mention in syllabus books about the struggles and hardships faced by the people of Pakistan for upholding democracy and democratic system in the country.

Rabbani cautioned that internal and external situation was precarious while the regional situation was highly sensitive. He urged the youth to realise their responsibilities and play active role in national development. He also expressed his optimism that with determination and resilience we would be able to overcome the challenges and work for national development.

He noted that Pakistan’s history was chequered with interference from non-democratic forces, but democracy finally seemed to be taking roots.

Rabbani said that dictatorial regimes adopted a policy of strangulating the culture of literature in the country to curb progress of thinking and create intellectual vacuum in the country by imposing ban on student unions, trade bodies and tea house culture representing intellectuals.

He emphasised that time was ripe for taking a decisive step and determine the direction and counter the challenges with unity; otherwise, history would have no mercy on us.

He said that all citizens were equal according to the Constitution; however, unfortunately, a separate category of law existed for common man and the rich and powerful.

He underscored the need for overcoming the challenges being faced on different fronts and work for nurturing the progressive thinking in the country.

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