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Call for measures to check erosion of Parliament through judicial activism

Islamabad April 16, 2014: Bemoaning that there has been a systematic erosion of parliament during the past five years PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar today called for reforms and check and balance to reverse the erosion of Parliament.

Speaking in the zero hour discussion in the senate today he said that in a meeting today between former President Zardari and Prime Minister the two leaders also considered it necessary to work together with all political parties towards strengthening parliament as the representing the will of the people of Pakistan indicating the growing realization of the need to address the issue of strengthening parliament and stemming its systematic decline.

Farhatullah Babar then listed a number of instance which he said amounted to erosion of parliament during the last five years.

He said that overturning the ruling of the Speaker, throwing out role of Parliament in the appointment of Judges, totally overturning a law passed by the Parliament, disqualifying an elected Prime Minister without reference to the election commission, refusal to place accounts before the parliament and refusal to answer parliamentary questions were some of the instances of over reach that eroded the Parliament. Continue reading

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Rabbani says PM has assured review of PPO


ISLAMABAD: PPP Senator Raza Rabbai said Wednesday that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has assured a review of the Pakistan Protection Ordinance (PPO) and directed Zahid Hamid to consult the opposition.

Rabbani spoke to reporters following a meeting between the PPP delegation led by Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “Reservations of the PPP and other opposition parties were conveyed to Prime Minister Nazwaz Sharif,” Rabbani said.

The PPP senator said all democratic forces will have to move forward together. He added that if a bad time arose they would support democratic forces.

When asked by a reporter if the meeting discussed a ‘billa,’ Rabbani replied that all matters including Musharraf were discussed and the prime minister said tension with the Pakistan army was not that serious of an issue.

Rabbani further told reporters that talks with the Taliban, problems of Sindh, provincial sovereignty, NFC award and the Karachi operation were also discussed.

Source : The News


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شہید صحافیوں کے اہل خانہ کو جلد پلاٹ دینگے، اویس مظفر کی آئی ایف جے کے وفد سے ملاقات


پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کے مرکزی رہنما اور سابق صوبائی وزیر سید اویس مظفر نے کہا ہے کہ پیپلز پارٹی آزادی اظہار اور آزادی صحافت پر یقین رکھتی ہے۔ ملک میں جمہوریت کی بحالی میں پیپلز پارٹی نے ہر اول دستے کا کردار ادا کیا ہے اور سب سے زیادہ قربانیاں دی ہیں۔ پیپلز پارٹی اور صحافیوں کا رشتہ اٹوٹ ہے۔ پیپلز پارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری اور شریک چیئرمین آصف علی زرداری کی ہدایت پر شہید صحافیوں کے اہل خانہ کو جلد پلاٹ حکومت سندھ فراہم کریگی۔ ان خیالات کا اظہار انہوں نے پیر کو اپنی رہائش گاہ پر انٹرنیشنل فیڈریشن آف جرنلسٹس (آئی ایف جے)، پاکستان فیڈرل یونین آف جرنلٹس (پی ایف یو جے) اور کراچی یونین آف جرنلسٹس (کے یو جے )کے وفد سے بات چیت کرتے ہوئے کیا۔ اس موقع پر آئی ایف جے کے ایڈوائزر پرویز شوکت، پی ایف یو جے کے صدر رانا عظیم، پی ایف یو جے کے سیکرٹری جنرل امین یوسف، کے یو جے کے صدر جی ایم جمالی اور دیگر بھی موجود تھے۔ سید اویس مظفر نے صحافیوں کے وفد کے اعزاز میں عصرانہ بھی دیا۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ پیپلز پارٹی صحافیوں کے مسائل کے حل اور انکے تحفظ کیلئے کی جانے والی ہر جدوجہد میں انکا ساتھ دیگی۔ آئی ایف یو کے ایڈوائزر شوکت پرویز نے کہا کہ دنیا میں پاکستان صحافیوں کے لئے خطرناک ملک بن گیا ہے۔ صحافی کٹھن حالات میں کام کررہے ہیں۔ پاکستان میں مختلف صحافیوں کو قتل کیا گیا ہے، تاہم ڈینئل پرل اور ولی خان بابر کے علاوہ کسی صحافی کے قاتل کو گرفتار نہیں کیا جاسکا۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ صحافیوں کے تحفظ کیلئے حکومت کو سنجیدہ اقدامات کرنے ہونگے۔ پی ایف یو جے کے سیکریٹری جنرل امین یوسف نے کہا کہ 3 مئی کو عالمی یوم صحافت کے موقع پر مختلف شعبوں میں قابل قدر خدمات انجام دینے والے صحافیوں کو ایوارڈز دیئے جائیں گے۔

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Senate Opposition unites against tabling of PMDC Ordinance

senate logo

ISLAMABAD – The opposition parties led by PPP Tuesday staged a protest walkout from the Senate against a ruling of the Chairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari allowing the government to table the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2014 before the House.
Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq also presented the long-awaited National Internal Security Policy (NISP) before the House following chairman Senate’s direction of the other day that was appreciated from both sides of isle. PPP stalwart Mian Raza Rabbani said in a light tone, “According to my information, Raja Sahib had to take a lot of pain and do personal efforts to get this report.”
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the major opposition party in the Senate, strongly stressed that laying of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2014 before the Upper House by the government was unconstitutional as it had not been approved by the Council of Common Interests (CCI).
After arguments from both sides of isle, the chair ruled that there was no harm in the laying of the ordinance before the House under required provisions of the Constitution and the National Assembly had already treated it as bill. The ruling of the chair provoked senior PPP stalwart Mian Raza Rabbani to stage a protest walkout followed by the combined opposition including PPP, ANP and PML-Q. In the meantime, Minister for Law and Justice Senator Pervez Rashid laid the ordinance before the House.
Before laying of the ordinance, Mian Raza Rabbani on a point of order said that presenting the ordinance before the House was unconstitutional as its subject was part II of the Federal Legislative List and could not be promulgated without the approval of the CCI. He said the cabinet could not approve it as was done in the case.
“This ordinance should have been approved by CCI…since it is not approved by CCI, the promulgation of the ordinance by the president is unconstitutional and the same cannot be laid before the House,” said Rabbani. He said the ordinance had also been challenged before the Sindh High Court (SHC). However, the chair said that ordinance had already been treated in the National Assembly.
Raza Rabbani said the legal point had been raised in the House and the laying of the ordinance should be deferred till a decision by the chair in this regard. Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, endorsing Rabbani, said it was purview of the CCI. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid opined that a constitutional provision was being fulfilled by laying the ordinance before the House. “The House can approve or disapprove it. At later stage,” he added. However Rabbani stuck to his point saying it was not a matter of approval or disapproval but it was related to presenting an invalid piece of legislation before the House. Dr Babar Awan said without fulfilling constitutional requirements, the ordinance could not have a legal standing.
Earlier, PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar, speaking in the Zero Hour, drew the attention of the House towards what he said publicly expressed disagreements between civil and military that seemed to threaten the civil dispensation. He said that in the event of any threat to the civil and democratic dispensation at the hands of undemocratic forces the civil society and democratic political parties should join hands to stand by the democratically elected government in the country and against any undemocratic adventurism.
He said for quite sometime there had been reports of disagreement between the civil government and security establishment which was highlighted by the Army chief’s speech at the SSG headquarters followed by leaked reports about the displeasure expressed in the subsequent corps commanders meeting over the statements given by some ministers.
 “Now the interior minister has also admitted the existence of some irritant between the civil and security establishment which, though he claimed, would be resolved soon,” he added. Farhatullah Babar said civil and political forces must join hands against adventurism or threat of adventurism by any coalition of undemocratic forces.
During Zero Hour, ANP staged a protest walkout from the House after remarks expressed by Senator Shahi Syed that his party workers were being abducted and killed in Karachi and the government was not taking notice of the matter.
The government also laid before the House a copy of the Money Bill, the Sales Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2014, seeking recommendations from the House on it as required under the Constitution.

Source : The Nation

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Rabbani says “Political forces committed to safeguard democracy”

Senator Raza Rabbani

ISLAMABAD: Senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, Raza Rabbani, said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari discussed over all national politics in their today’s meeting, SAMAA reported.

Rabbani was speaking to media persons after a one-on-one meeting between the two past rivals who exchanged views over various issues, including fresh govt-army tension.

In the meeting, Zardari was accompanied by Opposition leader in the National Assembly, Syed Khurshid Shah, Senator Raza Rabbani, and Syed Murad Ali Shah.

 The meeting was also attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid.

“The meeting held in very friendly atmosphere. We have discussed PPO, threats to the democratic system, peace talks and various other issues,” Rabbani said.
“Our meeting in a friendly atmosphere symbolizes that all democratic forces, whether they are in the opposition or government, are united and committed to safeguard the democracy, we have to carry forward the democratic process and have to strengthen it.”

Replying to a question about tension between civilian government and the military, the veteran politician said “we are passing through transitional phase different threats exist unless the rule of law is accepted… PPP is committed to defend the democracy and safeguard the rule of law, we believe in strengthening of democracy.”

Rabbani affirmed that “PPP will stand by democratic forces in testing times.”

Replying to a query about former army chief Pervez Musharraf’s trial, he said “we have discussed over all matters, PPP has a very clear point of view that constitution and law is equal for all.”

To a question about govt-Taliban talks, Rabbani said PPP has no difference of opinion. But as a opposition party we will continue to indentify loophole.”

Source : SAMAA TV

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“Zardari-Nawaz meeting a message to undemocratic forces” : Babar


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) central leader, Farhatullah Babar, says today’s meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari, is aimed at delivering a message to “undemocratic forces” of the country, SAMAA reported.

The two past rivals are holding a crucial meeting today in the backdrop of fresh govt-military rift over former president Pervez Musharraf’s treason trial.

Sources said there is no specific agenda of the meeting in which the two high-ups will review political situation as tension between civilian government and the military will take center-stage in the meeting.

“The objective of such meetings is to convey a message to undemocratic forces,” Babar said in an interview to a foreign media outlet. “I can’t say anything whether or not the Taliban talks or PPO are on agenda of the meeting which will discuss key matters,” he said. – SAMAA

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PPP to be with govt against any ‘adventure’ : Senator Farhatullah Babar


ISLAMABAD: Expressing concern over the ongoing civil-military tiff, a key senator from the main opposition PPP extended on Tuesday his party’s support to the PML-N government against any “undemocratic adventurism”.

“In the event of any threat to the civil and democratic dispensation at the hands of undemocratic forces, civil society and democratic political parties must join hands to support democratic forces against any undemocratic adventurism,” Farhatullah Babar said in the Senate during the “Zero Hour”, which allows a member to raise and speak on any issue that is not on the agenda.

Expressing regret over “publicly expressed disagreements” between the civilian and military leaderships, Senator Babar, who is also official spokesman for former president Asif Zardari, said he feared that the ongoing row could threaten the civil dispensation.

Perhaps realising the sensitivity of the issue, no other member from the treasury or opposition benches spoke on the matter during otherwise dull proceedings of the house.

“For quite some time, there have been reports of a tiff between the civilian government and security establishment, highlighted by the army chief’s speech at the SSG Headquarters, followed by leaked reports about the displeasure expressed at the subsequent corps commanders meeting over recent statements of some ministers,” Mr Babar said, adding that the army’s reaction to the statements of federal ministers was “uncalled for” and “inappropriate.”

“Such kind of public posturing by the security establishment is uncalled for and disturbing,” he said, adding that he had reports that posters of the army chief, like those of politicians, had been put on display along a roadside in Nowshera.

Mr Babar asked the civil and political forces to join hands against “adventurism or threat of adventurism by any coalition of undemocratic forces”.


The house witnessed two walkouts – one by the combined opposition in protest against the government’s move to lay the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2014 and the second by Awami National Party (ANP) senators over the alleged kidnappings of the party’s workers in Karachi.

The first walkout was led by PPP’s parliamentary leader Raza Rabbani, who said the PMDC ordinance was “unconstitutional” in the light of the 18th Amendment. Under the amendment, the subject fell under the jurisdiction of the Council of Common Interests (CCI). His viewpoint was later supported by a number of other opposition senators.

The ANP members staged the token walkout after Shahi Syed alleged that his party’s workers were being kidnapped for ransom in Karachi in the presence of law enforcement personnel. He said intelligence agencies were tapping phone calls of politicians, but were unable to trace calls made by kidnappers.

Following the directives of Senate Chairman Nayyar Bokhari, the government also tabled a draft of the national security policy in the house.

Opposition senators had been protesting over non-presentation of the document, which had been introduced by the interior minister in the National Assembly a couple of months ago.

Earlier during the question hour, the government informed the house that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had so far disposed of or decided 6,532 corruption cases.

In reply to a question raised by PPP’s Sughra Imam, Law Minister Pervez Rasheed said the number of cases decided through courts, voluntary return, plea bargain and transfer to other departments stood at 3,518 whereas NAB had disposed of or closed 3,014 cases. He said 1,770 people had been convicted through courts or plea bargain. A present 1,467 cases are at various stages in NAB. The bureau has recovered Rs258.39 billion from offenders.

Source : Dawn


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