Opposition reaches consensus to remove Senate chairman


Shafaqna Pakistan: The All Parties Conference (APC) of opposition came out with an action plan on Wednesday with forming a ‘Rehbar Committee’ while announcing to observe July 25 as black day against the ‘rigged’ elections of 2018 and hold protest rallies throughout the country. It will also bring no confidence against the Senate chairman and bring opposition’s own man on the post.

The name of the consensus nominee of the opposition would be announced by Rehbar Committee formed to look into all the matters of the opposition to launch an anti-government movement. According to sources, Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala will tender resignation and a new Senate chairman and deputy chairman will be elected afresh.

The APC also rejected the Debt Inquiry Commission and considered it as an attack on parliament.

The APC of the opposition held its marathon session for more than eight hours with chief of JUI-F Maulana Fazalur Rehman in the chair. The APC was attended by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari along with the PPP delegation, PML-N President and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz Sharif along with their party’s delegation, ANP President Asfandyar Wali along with his party delegation, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao of QWP, Mehmood Khan Achakzai of PkMAP, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo of the NP, the delegation of JUP (Noorani) and other parties.

However, Jamaat-e-Islami and BNP (Mengal) did not attend the APC despite the invitation for the APC. Addressing the press conference after the marathon meeting of the APC along with President PML-N Shahbaz Sharif and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Maulana Fazlur Rehman read out the joint declaration of the APC and announced the rejection of the Debt Inquiry Commission while terming it illegal and un-constitutional.

He also rejected the National Development Council and termed it unnecessary in the presence of the National Economic Council and said that it is an effort to turn the institutions as controversial.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman while reading out the jointdeclaration stated that the APC rejected the budget as anti-people, anti-trader, anti-industry, anti-health and education and announced that all the opposition parties will continue their protest against anti-people budget inside and outside Parliament.

He said the APC resolved to continue its efforts to bring the relief to the people from rigged, fake mandate and incompetence government and in this regard as a first phase, all the political parties of the APC will initiate the People Mobilization Campaign.

He said the APC condemned the government for making the effort to pass the budget through rigged means and demanded the production orders of two MNAs from South Waziristan so that they could represent their constituencies.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the APS stressed the need for the supremacy of Parliament, constitution and civil rule and also declared the references which were filed on political basis against the judges of the superior courts of the country as an attack on the judiciary while demanding their withdrawal.

He said the APC stressed the need of review on the procedure of the appointments of judges and bringing the judicial reforms and also on bringing the legislation to review the use of suo moto powers.

Maulana Gazlur Rehman said the APC resolved to continue the struggle for the democratic rights of the people and demanded legislation for missing persons and asked that those people who were in custody of the security institutions should be presented before the courts of law. “The legislation to end the torture should also be made,” he said.

He said the APC rejected the notification of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECO) with regard to deployment of army inside the polling stations and to give them powers for the summary trial during the elections in the tribal areas and demanded that this notification should be withdrawn.

He said the APC also demanded that the custody cells established in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and ex-Fata should be turned into jails and the trial of those people who are in custody should be made in the courts of law.

He said the APC has also condemned the announced and unannounced censorships on the media and demanded that these should be lifted from the media. ‘The APC also stressed the need to ensure the safety of journalists and for the necessary legislation in this regard,” he said.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the APC of the opposition condemned ongoing announced and backdoor efforts against the parliamentary form of the government and 18th Amendment saying that all the steps in this regard would be resisted as the aim of these efforts to weaken the Parliamentary form of the government.

He said the APC stressed the need for the impartial accountability and rejected ongoing one-sided accountability while demanding legislation for the “Accountability for all” in which the mechanism for the accountability of all those who draws the salary from the national exchequer will be made through one institution.

He said the APC demanded that the institutions should not intervene in the politics and rejected the Debt Inquiry Commission and it considered it attack on the Parliament, as it is illegal and unconstitutional. “The APC demanded that the Parliamentary Committee should be formed with equal representation of the government and opposition members to probe all the grants and debt taken since the year 2000 and their utilisation,” he said.

He stated that the APC has termed the National Development Council an unnecessary in the presence of the National Economic Council and it was an effort to make the institutions of the country as a controversial.

He said it was decided that the all the members of the of the Parliamentary Committee that was formed to probe the rigging in 2018 elections would be resigned as this parliamentary committee was deliberately turned into non-functional and it was also decided that July 25, 2019 would be observed as a black day against the rigging in the general elections.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman said it was decided in the APC that A “Rehbar Committee” would be formed that will formulate the future strategy and to implement the points of the APC declaration.

He said it was also decided in the APC to bring the new Senate chairman in place through legal and constitutional means and the Rehbar Committee would decide on the name of new Senate chairman with consensus. He said the APC demanded forming the Parliamentary Committee to probe the recent incidents in Waziristan to bring the facts.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the APC condemned the attitude of government for banning meetings with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and not allowing his personal physician to access him and demanded that Nawaz Sharif be allowed to hold meetings and access to his physician to him. “The APC also demanded provision of all the facilities to him according to the constitution,” he said. He said the APC also expressed its concerns over the government steps against the Islamic articles of the constitution.

In reply to a question, he said the names of the “Rehbar Committee‘ would be finalised after the consultation with the heads of the political parties.

He said it was decided in the APC that mass public contacts will be initiated in all the four provincial from the single platform of the opposition. “July 25 will be main day and after it the public rallies will be brought out in all the four provinces through platform of the combined opposition,” he said.

When asked whether the resignation from the assemblies will used as a last option, he said if the Rehbar Committee gave such a proposal, it will be implemented.

He said it was consensus among the opposition parties that this government came through rigged and having fake mandate and the Rehbar Committee will bring the different views of the parties on one page.

In reply to a question about the Rehbar Committee, PPPP Secretary General Farhatullah Babar said Rehbar Committee will formulate future strategy on the basis of APC decision and will also finalize name of the next Senate chairman. “The names of Rehbar Committee will be finalised after consultation with all the political parties,” he said.

To a question regarding the APC views on Charter of Economy, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said, “Our position is clear on this proposal and the state of Pakistan is responsible for the destruction of the economy and whether we sit with those who are responsible for it. Though idea is right as we have to make the country stronger economically, which is currently sinking and in this atmosphere it is a proposal like national action plan so we should also come on same page for National Economic Plan,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to sources, the PPP and PML-N have rejected the proposal of mass resignations from the assemblies put forwarded by Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

The sources said PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif said though opposition failed to raise its voice against the historical rigging in the elections but the incompetent government of Imran Khan has fully exposed. “Now the clear message to the people of Pakistan should be given without any jugglery of words as if the people have lost their hope,” sources said while quoting Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

Sources said in her speech Maryam Nawaz Sharif said that there should be consensus decision on removal of Senate chairman. The sources said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in his speech said the general elections of 2018 were rigged.

He said that the hurdles were also created for the PPP in 2008 elections from getting the majority and they had accepted the results of rigged election in protest. Sources said Bilawal said the PPP believed in democratic struggle within the democratic system.