ISLAMABAD: Senator Raza Rabbani advised the government on Wednesday to arrest former president Pervez Musharraf upon his arrival in Pakistan and try him for treason charges under Article 6 of the Constitution.
“Musharraf should be put into jail immediately as he lands in Pakistan. We [lawmakers] want implementation on the resolution unanimously passed by this house [Senate],” said Senator Raza Rabbani, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security said.
Speaking on floor of the house, Senator Rabbani of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said as the former general makes up his mind to return to Pakistan, the government should act against him for holding the Constitution in abeyance twice.
The Senate had unanimously adopted a resolution on January 23, 2012 demanding the arrest of Musharraf upon his arrival, he recalled. “I assure this house that if he lands in Pakistan, he will be arrested because he is a proclaimed offender in Benazir Bhutto’s murder case,” said Interior Minister Rehman Malik on the floor of the Senate.
Judges and dual nationality
Lawmakers who debated the motion on the applicability of the dual nationality restriction on judges called for a constitutional amendment to provide for a federal constitutional court to resolve constitutional issues, an amendment to Article 184 to provide for appeals in suo motu cases and legislation under Article 191 to regulate the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court.
Senator Farhatullah Babar, who moved the motion, said the issue of judges in the Supreme Court having dual nationality has become important ever since Tahirul Qadri’s petition was dismissed on the basis of his dual nationality. “In the US and in India judges are impeached by the Parliament but in Pakistan the Parliament cannot even ask a simple question,” he observed.
He urged the SC to demonstrate the same level of transparency and accountability as it has been seeking to impose on other state institutions, adding it was necessary to uphold the dignity and prestige of the courts.
“Doubts hover around the names of Supreme Court judges who hold dual nationality,” said Senator Saeed Ghani, adding that judges should clear their position on the issue of dual nationality.
Ghani went on to say that the judiciary was independent, no doubt, but this independence comes from other state organs. Judges are independent of the Constitution and the law, he said.
The upper house of the Parliament also unanimously passed “The National Counter Terrorism, 2013” bill, which aims to streamline the authority’s work amidst reports of its poor performance. The bill, created to present counter-terrorism strategies, has already been passed by the National Assembly.
Earlier, Senators Raza Rabbani and Mohsin Leghari objected to some clauses of the bill and requested that the chair not pass the bill in haste. Rabbani also stressed upon the inclusion of the Intelligence Bureau’s role in the Board of Governors of the proposed authority. It (authority) has been made quite heavy and would require the presence of all members for passing any crucial policy, he said, requesting the chair to refer the bill to concerned standing committee for further amendment.
The house will meet again at 10:30am on Thursday.
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