Senate proceedings: ANP raises alarm over anti-democracy rally

Senator Haji Adeel concerned about rallies asking for army intervention.

Qamar Zaman December 13, 2011


The Awami National Party on Monday expressed its concern at ‘conspiracies’ being hatched against democracy and demanded that the government unearth the ‘hidden hands’ involved.

ANP Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel highlighted the issue in the Senate on Monday with particular reference to a public rally staged in the federal capital urging the army to take control of the country.

Earlier in the day, participants of the rally called for army’s intervention in what is seen by many as a political crisis in the country.

“The chief of army staff should save the country,” was one of the banners being carried by the protesters,” Adeel told the upper house on a point of order. “It is a conspiracy against the government,” and the government should trace the organisers of such rallies, he demanded.

Adeel went on to add that the Capital Development Authority had facilitated the organisation (whose name was not known) to hold the rally in favour of the army.

“This is in violation of the constitution and a conspiracy against the government,” Adeel told the lawmakers.  “Are they (the rally organisers) being supported by the GHQ or by the ISI?” he asked rhetorically, requesting the government to hold an investigation into the matter.

ANP Senator Ilyas Ahmad Bilour endorsed the point of order and demanded a government ban on such organisations.

Later on, Leader of the House in the Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari said that the government had taken notice of the issue and will take the house into confidence about the actions taken against them.

Conspiracy against the 18th Amendment

PPP Senator Raza Rabbani termed an amendment proposed by PML-Q to give the federation, instead of the provinces, the authority to design educational curricula, as a conspiracy against the 18th amendment. The provinces had been entrusted with the responsibility after the passage of the 18th amendment as education had been devolved to the provinces.

“Some vested interest do not want the completion of the devolution process and are trying to block the process,” Rabbani said.

He added that the federation had usurped the education department in the past since it was neither on concurrent or federal legislative list.

PML-Q Senator SM Zafar, however, stood up to clarify the aims and objectives of the proposed amendment, reminding Senator Rabbani that he had given a dissenting note over the subject prior to the passage of the 18th Amendment.

“How come an effort aimed at improvement becomes a conspiracy,” Zafar said, asking Rabbani to let go of his prejudice since he believed that the 18th amendment was his brainchild.

“If you (Rabbani) term it a conspiracy, then we can also say its opposition is a conspiracy against the unity of the country,” he added, urging the house to revisit the provision.

JUI-F leader Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani supported Rabbani, saying the amendment should not be introduced unless flaws are detected due to the 18th amendment.

Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Professor Khursheed Ahmed said that the house should rectify the mistake if an error was found, urging for a consensus over the subject prior to presentation of the amendment.

Later on, presiding officer Afrasiab Khattak of ANP deferred the bill moved by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, SM Zafar and Wasim Sajjad.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2011.


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