Pak: PPP leader Rabbani calls senate resolution on military trial of civilians ‘unconstitutional’

Islamabad [Pakistan], November 21 (ANI): The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader Raza Rabbani termed the Pakistan Senate resolution backing military trials of civilians against the constitution and vowed to continue opposing it, The News International reported.

It reported that Pakistan’s upper house of parliament passed a motion against the Supreme Court’s verdict on civilians’ trial in the military courts, calling for halting implementation of the judgement “unless it is considered by a larger bench”. The resolution backs the military trial of civilians arrested in connection with the May 9 riots.

In the senate, the Jamaat-e-Islami’s Mushtaq Ahmed and PPP’S Rabbani opposed the resolution against the top court’s verdict.

Speaking on the floor of the house today, the PPP leader said he voted the bill for setting up military courts in the country in 2015. Clarifying his position, Rabbani said he was bound by party discipline.

He affirmed that his vote represents the PPP and said, “I was ashamed for voting the bill.”

As per The News International, he added, he “had never felt more ashamed in his life as he was on that day and admitted that he voted on the amendment against his conscience.”

Sources privy to the matter revealed that the bill was not part of the agenda of the Senate session and the motion was tabled in the house when a majority of the lawmakers were absent.

The day after the passage of the bill, the lawmakers lodged a strong protest in the house against the hasty approval of the resolution. The Senators called for immediate withdrawal of the resolution.

Without taking up any agenda item, Senate Deputy Chairman Mirza Muhammad Afridi adjourned the proceedings within minutes due to lack of quorum.

On his part, PTI Senator Ali Zafar urged the Senate to take action and condemn if basic human rights were being violated, The News International reported.

He termed the military trial of civilians “unfair”.

Expressing his views, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar said that the resolution was passed in haste.

The News International reported, JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmad termed the Senate resolution as “a drone attack on the House” and an “attack on the democracy”.

The JI senator said that he and Rabbani were not allowed to speak on the resolution that day in the House.

The leader of the house and the opposition leader were kept in the dark about the resolution, he said, adding that the motion was not shown to the lawmakers. “It [resolution] will strengthen undemocratic forces.”