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October 13, 2017



Democracy in Pakistan comes like film intervals: Rabbani

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani on Thursday said the pivot of all the institutions functioning under the Constitution was parliament.

He emphasised: “All institutions are subservient to the law and Constitution. Parliament is to the Federation of Pakistan as is the jugular vein to the body. If we cut the jugular vein again and again, it would be like decapitating the Federation.

“It is imperative upon parliament to play a historically significant role in order to overcome the internal and external challenges faced by the country; this institution has to be transparent and deliver so that people own it.” He regretted that the country had suffered at the hands of dictatorship for prolonged periods while the role of democracy had been of mere recreational intervals for an entertainment film.

“Every time democracy aimed to entrench its hold in the political process, dictatorship usurped its right to do so, making democracy a shameful stop-gap arrangement for dictatorial regimes. “The institutions were never strengthened and constitutional supremacy never established — a fallout effect that continues to-date,” he contended.

He expressed these views at a ceremony to give away the Pride of Pakistan Award, on behalf of the National Press Club, to Nisar Naasik, the composer of famous song “Dil Dil Pakistan”.Rabbani said that by consciously isolating ourselves from our history, collective struggle for democracy and national heroes, we have plunged our society to this pitiable point of decline.

“This deliberate divorce has led writers like Nisar Naasik, Habib Jalib, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and John Elia into shadows of forgetfulness,” he said.He stressed that alternative narratives were not developed in ministries or in Rawalpindi but were germinated when poets and thinkers like Nisar Naasik write to enlighten the people, but we put an end to this process.

He passionately remarked that it were us who called to annihilate such talent from the country. He said that the state failed to appreciate assets like Nisar Naasik.Rabbani said he had witnessed the deplorable condition of Habib Jalib, clearly implying that we live in an uncivilised society, negligent of our national heritage. “Even with the passage of 70 years, our state and society is lost in visionless oblivion, vainly looking for their way out,” he regretted.

He recalled, “When the people revolted against the Ayub Khan regime, the elite worked together to trace the factors that crushed the regime into cinders. It was then that the elitist state conspired to obliterate the Coffee House culture to suppress the birth of national consciousness and to produce a generation drunk in elitist narratives.

“It was the state that sowed the seed of radicalism in universities by discouraging progressive ideology, thinkers and poets alike. It was the state that introduced a ban on student unions, the Progressive Thinkers Union and Labour Unions but religious extremist parties were given a free hand in the universities. As a result, we envisaged a lack of tolerance and radicalism in the society,” Rabbani noted.