ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani has said that the federation should use the Council of Common Interests (CCI), which is a constitutional forum, to address the controversial issue of Kalabagh dam instead of making statements in the media.
Speaking at a seminar on challenges to the federation and the role of the Senate on Saturday, Rabbani said that despite the fact that three provincial assemblies have passed resolutions against the disputed project, a bureaucrat went on to openly oppose them.
“If the government wants to build Kalabagh dam as a policy, then it has a right but the way to address it is through the CCI,” he said. The government should take the matter in the CCI and not make media statements through a bureaucrat, he added. This would be neither acceptable to the Senate nor to the provincial assemblies.
Referring to the representation of the Senate in the Public Accounts Committee, Rabbani said it was not charity rather a lawful right of the Senate and denied that it would amount to violating the Constitution. “Unless the Senate gets its fair share in financial matters, it cannot govern the federation properly.”
Speaking at the event, opposition leader in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan said that the federation, parliamentary system and democracy were three pillars of the Constitution. “When the provinces are strengthened, the federation would be strengthened.”
Senator Mushahidullah Khan, speaking on behalf of the Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq, said democracy has seen challenges, but people have fought those challenges.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2016.
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