Amid wishes and suggestions for the newly-elected members of the upper house, majority of the outgoing senators on Tuesday regretted the plans they were unable to manifest while being members of the Senate.
“I could not ascertain (while being a member) even the role of this house… I have noticed some (members) just praise each other,” said Senator Abdul Khaliq Pirzada from the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM).
Pirzada apologised the nation and said: “I have failed to change the approach led by feudalism in the country.”
The articulate and champion of women’s right, Nilofar Bakhtiar, said that she had some regrets which could never be forgotten.
“Not a single member of the house supported the motion to condemn killing of former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer,” Bahktiar lamented.
“Secondly, no member bothered to put their signature for a resolution, moved by me,” Nilofar recalled, for the restoration of the deposed judges.
“I’ll pursue my unfinished and incomplete agenda outside this house,” she said.
“We are leaving (this house) with heavy a heart and light shoulders,” said Senator Salim Saifullah Khan in the last address of his 12-year period as member of the upper house as he suggested the new members to work to inculcate nationalism among masses.
“We are concentrating more on personal gains, which ultimately has brought the nation to this situation politically and economically,” he added.
Another outgoing senator, Hafiz Rashid called for giving legal status to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). He said that there exists no law and the political agents run the agency according to their personal will.
Professor Ibrahim from Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) said the “house had been merely a debating club”. While recalling damages the country had faced for being on the frontline of the war against terror, he said: “Peace would return the minute our government announces that we are not part of this war.”
Senator Gulshan Saeed showered praise on fellow female colleagues, saying they made their mark no less than their male counterparts sitting in the house.
“The female senators performed their role in a wonderful manner… I am sure they will tread the same path in future”, she added.
Meanwhile, members from the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (Likeminded), sans Simeen Siddique, staged a token walkout against Sindh Assembly’s decision of turning down leave applications of its MP Arbab Ghulam Rahim.
“This is political victimisation,” said Salim Saifullah.
The members, however, returned to the house after Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief whip Islamuddin Sheikh assured them their concerns would be conveyed to the Sindh Assembly and that the needful will be done.
Earlier, Leader of the House Nayyer Hussain Bokhari moved a resolution to condemn the burning of the Holy Quran by American/Nato forces in Afghanistan. The resolution was approved unanimously.
The resolution said: “The Senate of Pakistan unanimously condemns in strongest terms the outrageous act of burning of the Holy Quran by American/Nato forces at the Bagram Airbase in Afghansitan on February 21, 2012 and calls upon the United Nations and the international community to take effective action against those responsible for this heinous and blasphemous act. This house unanimously resolves that the government of Pakistan and all Muslim countries should demand that the US and other NATO countries identify and punish those guilty of this crime.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2012.
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