Parliament has the Potential to Tackle Serious National Security Foreign Policy Issues; Mian Raza Rabbani
The Parliament has the potential to dictate the terms of reference not only for the national security but also the ability to tackle the serious foreign policy issues confronting the country. Those thinking that the Parliament is not an effective institution have their own vested interests and are not willing to transfer the powers to the democratic institutions. The young generation should follow the legacy of those who believe in the principle that it is better to be destroyed by the guns of the dictator rather than by the pen of the historian.
Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani said this while addressing orientation / training program for third batch of short term interns of Senate of Pakistan at Pakistan Institution of Parliamentary Service (PIPS), Islamabad on Thursday. Secretary Senate Amjed Pervez Malik and Executive Director of PIPS Zafarullah Khan were also present in the program.
Chairman Senate said that effective measures have been taken for improving the working of Parliament with regard to its role in legislation, oversight of the executive and transparency. He said that the democracy cannot flourish without passing hurdles and obstacle with commitment and resolve. He said that the people were denied the fruits of democracy for long and whatever the cost, the new generation would not face these issues. He said that in the struggle of democratic rule and supremacy of Parliament we cannot afford to lose. He said that the new generation should inculcate in their mind that democracy was not handed over in a silver platter rather the present parliament and democracy has been achieved by sacrifices. People were tortured, women were dragged on roads and dishonored in police stations for their struggle for the rule of law which is vivid and depicted in the Gali-e-Dastoor and Monument of Unsung Heroes of Democracy constructed in premises of Parliament House.
He said that no government even that of my own party had the courage to build the monument and own these heroes of democratic struggle.
He said that usually it is believed that the parliaments cannot tackle the issues of national security and foreign policy but the event of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) only yesterday has contradicted such assumptions as more than 70 delegates and parliamentarians of the Asian nations have gathered to discuss such issues and agreeing with consensus on such matters. He said that this successful parliamentary diplomacy have been conducted after the sabotage of SAARC Conference by India scheduled to be held in Islamabad few months back. The APA event has been attended by the high level parliamentary delegations of Asian countries including India and Nepal, whereas the Speaker of the Bhutan has led the delegation for this event. It is not the success of an individual rather it speaks volume of the outreach of the Parliament. The Government of the country should benefit from the potential of the parliamentary diplomacy and reap its dividends.
He said that it was the Parliamentary Committee on National Security which in consultation with the stakeholders framed the new term of engagement with United States in aftermath of Usama Bin Laden issue. The balloon of the speculations and assumptions that parliament cannot do a serious business and collaborate with the other institutions have burst yet again on the successful parliamentary diplomacy during the APA event.
Secretary Senate of Pakistan Amjed Prevez Malik while addressing the event said that this indigenous program of internship have been conceived and implemented by Senate, so that youth can better understand the parliamentary practices and witness the history in making. The Senate would in turn benefit from the ideas and potential of the youth to improve the parliamentary services.