December 04 , 2017
Religion being used to further political agenda: Rabbani
ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani said yet again on Sunday that religion was being used to further political agenda, whereas Islam was the state religion facing no threat in Pakistan.
Speaking at the launch of veteran politician Javed Hashmi’s book “Zinda Tareekh” at a local hotel here, he said when Pakistan was made in the name of Islam, then how there could be any threat to it in the country.
Referring to the Faizabad sit-in, Rabbani asserted that under Article 256 of the Constitution, there could be no private lashkars in Pakistan but this article was flouted with impunity. He pointed out that according to the Rangers and police, the participants of sit-in carried latest weapons on their person and asked it Article 256 was not applicable to them.
Rabbani asked if the state writ had not been challenged and then explained: “Challenge is a small word — the state writ was totally eliminated.” He wondered if writ of the state was being eroded, then what could it lead to.
He contended that confrontation among the state institutions was very dangerous and could harm the federation. He emphasised that all the state institutions should work within their constitutional limits and be on the same page.
Rabbani called for immediate lifting of ban on student unions and said under a ploy the ban was imposed on progressive student unions during the regime of Ziaul Haq while free hand was given to extremists in colleges and schools during that time.
He explained that in the course of history, students, trade unions and thinking individuals created a paradigm that would resist martial law. “It was because of this that today terrorists are being created at colleges and universities and the state has itself created this situation,” he said.
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique regretted that politicians were being unjustly targeted and abused, whereas democracy was yet to become fully functional. "Can a chief justice or chief of the army staff never be wrong? Why is it that the prime minister is always at fault? The country will be getting weaker if its political parties are weak”.
He contended that the army should stay away from politics and controversies and that there was a huge difference between the army's professional and political roles. The minister asserted that there would be no compromise on the supremacy of Constitution.
The minister remarked, "We do not want a truck to arrive and take away everyone including Imran Khan".
About the courts, the minister said: "After the lawyers’ movement, we thought that the courts will be free but the doctrine of necessity is still alive. We will not accept if only a few people keep deciding the fate of this country," he made it clear.
Saad Rafique claimed that ‘engineered political parties’ like Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) had no future in the country. "People from the MQM should have been allowed to take their own decisions," he emphasised.
About the most likely rejoining of PML-N by Javed Hashmi, the minister believed that the veteran politicians should be valued and conceded that the PML-N was responsible for his departure from the party.
The minister said no one could deny Hashmi’s political worth. He lamented that the party couldn’t nurture democratic values. “Political parties should be allowed to run their own political course,” the minister emphasised.
Javed Hashmi criticised the role of armed forces in dealing with the Faizabad sit-in. "A general giving the protesters Rs1,000 each is beyond comprehension and those who criticise the army are never forgiven," he charged. He maintained, "We will always accept the Supreme Court's decisions. The people of Pakistan love their armed forces but are not ready to give them the right to rule the country".
Hashmi claimed, "Military rulers think that those who agree with them are patriotic while those, who do not are traitors". Climate Change Minister Mushahidullah Khan praised Hashmi for his political struggle and said he was deeply hurt when Javed Hashmi decided to quit PML-N. He said that the government's crime was that it had almost eliminated terrorism from Pakistan. Awami National Party leader Afrasiab Khattak also spoke on the occasion.