Islamabad March 12, 2015: Felicitating the Chairman elect Senator Farhatullah Babar said that Raza Rabbani had entered upon the high office with formidable credentials as a great democrat and constitutionalist, a committed federalist, a passionate human rights activist, a genuine political worker, a brilliant lawyer and a person of great integrity. Rabbani commanded respect not only in the House but also outside the Parliament among the intelligentsia, the NGO, the media and the civil society, he said. However Rabbani is also confronted with equally formidable challenges and drew his attention to his first media interview in which Rabbani had vowed to uphold the sovereignty of parliament. Upholding the sovereignty against these odds is the greatest challenge.
He said that during the past few years the Parliament had come under pressure from some state institutions that tended to tread upon the domain of the Parliament. A major reason of the systematic erosion of the parliament was the civil-military disconnect and the refusal of the security establishment to submit to parliamentary sovereignty. How Chairman Raza Rabbani would steer the House to play its role in retrieving the lost ground and ensuring its supremacy will be the ultimate test of the new Chairman, he said.
Complimenting the Dy Chairman Ghafoor Haidri on his election he said that the vote also contained a political message that needed to be heeded. The results of ballot showed that Haidri had won with overwhelming majority but the ten extra votes cast to PTI candidate Shibli Farazr and the six rejected votes could also be seen as a protest vote by some members ignoring party line.
Ghafoor Haidri was the consensus candidate of all parties except the PTI and JI and therefore only seven votes should have been cast against him. However there were at least 16 of his votes which were not actually cast in his favor and asked whether it was a protest vote against the JUI.
Farhatullah Babar said this pattern of voting conveyed a very meaningful political message that needs to be heeded.
The JUI needs to reflect whether the negative vote represented protest against the way some JUI stalwarts couched their world view in a diction that did not go down well with women and the moderate and progressive elements, he said.