Trichotomy of powers: Babar urges Rabbani to announce ruling

Senate chairman says he has almost finalised his ruling on the issue and would announce it soon


Irfan Ghauri February 16, 2018
PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Farhatullah Babar on Thursday urged outgoing Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani to announce his ruling on trichotomy of powers, which he had reserved after a comprehensive debate in which the lawmakers expressed their apprehension over the shifting of power away from the elected Parliament.

“Power is continuously shifting away from the civilian structures of the state as invisible forces are relentlessly busy re-writing the political and parliamentary narrative and it is critical that an appropriate ruling is announced to put these elements on notice ahead of the forthcoming Senate elections,” the senator said.

Trichotomy of power: Senators lament ceding of powers by parliament

Babar said that the continuing shrinking of civilian and parliamentary space is being taken over by invisible forces and that the civil-military bureaucratic complex was dangerous and must be curbed.

“I do not expect that the chair's ruling will stop the slide overnight but the expression of consolidated opinion of the House might help in injecting some sanity all around,” the senator informed the chairman.

Chairman Rabbani said that he had almost finalised his ruling on the issue and would announce it soon. He also invited the senator to his chambers tomorrow (Friday) to discuss the issue.

Later, Senator Babar told the media that during the discussion on trichotomy of powers, he had recently pointed out that the central issue was the systematic and deliberate shifting of the locus of power from Islamabad to Rawalpindi. He added what was worse was that the new locus was not accountable.

He said, “This phenomenon was summed up by former army chief General (retd) Jehangir Karamat while commenting on the legal framework order (LFO) of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.” He added that General (retd) Karamat publicly admitted that the LFO represented the longstanding desire of the military to rewrite the civil-military equation on its own terms.

The issue is that lately it has acquired speed and momentum that does not bode well for the federation, said the senator.

Inconclusive debate will be futile: Rabbani

“Today the state is like a vehicle where the person on the steering has no control over vital levers like the accelerator, brake and clutch. Sooner or later, such a vehicle is fated to meet a serious accident,” he warned. 

PIA under fire

Meanwhile, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman criticised PIA over the flag carrier’s decision to halt flights to Kuwait and Oman.

The senator asked, “After New York, PIA has now halted flight routes to Kuwait and Oman. Where is the future of PIA heading?”

Rehman said, 'It is important to point out that air traffic has swelled 40 per cent over the past five years to 20 million passengers. It is shocking and disturbing to see PIA halting international flight routes.” She added that five new international airlines are expected to venture into Pakistan’s aviation industry by next year, which will pose fresh challenges to a financially-struggling PIA.

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