Rabbani decries ‘judicial ingress’ in assembly proceedings

Former Senate chairman and senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Raza Rabbani took strong exception on Friday to “the superior judiciary, as interference in the internal proceedings” of parliament and provincial assemblies.

In a statement, Rabbani said that the country’s ruling elite had rendered parliament redundant and reduced the provincial assemblies to mere rubber stamps. He warned that the space lost by the political parties might not be recovered in a long time.

“Today parliament and the provincial assemblies have all but surrendered their independence envisaged in the Constitution, as the superior judiciary issues directions on the internal proceedings of the houses, there is no one to blame but myself,” Rabbani said.

“Pakistan’s ruling elite had already made parliament redundant and the provincial assemblies rubber stamps. Parliament is being suffocated by the executive and the ruling elite. This space lost by the political parties may not be recovered in at least our life time,” he added.

“The manner in which civilian office-holders … wilfully violated the Constitution, has brought us to a stage where the internal proceedings of the House are being run on the dotted line provided by the courts.”

The former Senate chairman said that “judicial ingress” in the internal proceedings and the doctrine of “reading in” were also not helping. He urged the political parties to take the “blinders off their eyes before even the ashes are blown by the wind”.

He said: “Parliament and the provincial assemblies are crying out to the real sovereign, the people, let me breathe.”

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