Power to the people: Senate launches first-ever public petition system

Citizens given access to file petitions with the upper house, participate political process

Our Correspondent April 29, 2015
Citizens given access to file petitions with the upper house, participate political process. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Senate launched the first of its kind, public petition system portal on Tuesday, moving the upper house of the parliament a click away from the access of people through the first phase of Restoration of Majesty and Transparency in the Parliament.

“Parliament’s bashing is going on since 1947 and there had not been an appropriate response …and it is about time to showcase the brighter side of the Parliament. The e-petition will connect the people with parliament,” said Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani at the launching ceremony.

The public petition process allows ordinary citizens to have direct access to the Senate and participate in the political process. It can put issues on the agenda which might not otherwise be considered by parliament. It can also facilitate the Senate’s intervention in issues and problems of public importance.

The initiative is the ninth since Rabbani took over as chairman. For people who do not have access to the internet, the option of ‘courier petition’ has also been given.

Around 10 staffers of Senate will sift through the petitions round the clock on a system indigenously developed by the upper house, Rabbani explained while talking to The Express Tribune.

Leader of the House in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq said the initiative was a beacon of hope for the people as it provides them an opportunity to share issues being faced. “People do not really care a lot when democratic system is wrapped up by dictators because of the disconnect with institutions and the Parliament … through this imitative people would have ownership of the parliament and a sense of belonging,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2015. 


zeenat khan | 6 years ago | Reply The Senate if really committed to input from the common people should also provide an E mal address so that the voices and opinions of the masses are heard , documented and implemented
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