Parliament being used against judiciary, says ANP’s Aimal Wali in fiery Senate speech

ISLAMABAD: ANP’s Aimal Wali said on Wednesday the ongoing Senate session appeared to be an attempt at pitting the Parliament against the judiciary as a number of government-aligned senators accused the judiciary of ‘selective justice and discriminatory contempt of court actions’.

Wali stated that the social studies being taught to students in Pakistan was “based on lies”. Referring to the picture of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah hanging in the Senate hall, the ANP leader said, “This picture also seems imprisoned.” Citing the Quaid’s address at an armed forces’ ceremony, he quoted him as telling the army that “the country was not made for you to rule”. He termed the Quaid “the country’s first political prisoner”.

As per the ANP senator, “the problem began with the missing persons’ issue, and has ended with the Parliament facing off with the judiciary”.

Criticizing several historic occasions associated with the country’s armed forces, he asked, “Who expelled the British? The British were not expelled by the army but by the people.”

He asked why justice was never sought for the hundreds of “Khudaai Khidmatgars killed”. “We lost half the country by not accepting the mandate of Bengal. All of Sheikh Mujeeb’s family was killed. And yet the country is standing at the same point again.”

The ANP leader questioned press conferences conducted following the judiciary complaining of interference by intelligence agencies. “What other word will be used if not ‘proxy’ when this is how matters will be dealt with,” the senator maintained.

Today’s session

At the outset of today’s session, MQM Senator Faisal Sabzwari commended Senator Faisal Vawda over what he said a day earlier. “It appears that everyone has to be respected except the parliamentarians who represent millions of voters. The Constitution holds judges in high regard, as well as parliamentarians,” he said.

The MQM senator said “those sitting in the institutions also have no right to disrespect parliamentarians”. “There is no greater institution than the Parliament. Your respect is our respect. If you will practice selective justice then you will be questioned,” he added

Speaking of the missing persons issue, he said all those missing should be recovered. “This matter is of importance to the entire country,” he added. “At least 30 of our party workers were recovered after remaining missing for four years. But no one is willing to take notice of that,” he claimed.

PML-N’s Senator Talal Chaudhry – convicted of committing contempt of court in 2018 – advocated for abolishing the law. “The judiciary’s respect will increase from punishing those who break the law, not those who make it,” he added. He questioned the multiple times that the Parliament was disrespected. “A prime minister was hanged to death,” he said, reminding how another was disqualified for life.

JUI-F’s Senator Kamran Murtaza however raised concerns about how the purpose of calling the current Senate session appeared only to target some judges. He asked the parliamentarians to desist from doing so. “Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani has raised the issue of missing persons. Not a single one of us had the courage to raise it,” Murtaza added.

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar denied there was any clash between institutions. “The chief justice of Pakistan is a highly respectable, calm, upright, and balanced judge. His contribution to establishing rule of law are known to all. We must not forget how he and his family were targeted.”

However, he added that, “The Constitution of Pakistan does not give any court the power to say whatever it wants when angry. The Parliament is a supreme institution. I hope the chief justice will decide on the case – of contempt notices issues to Senator Faisal Vawda and MNA Mustafa Kamal – keeping transparency in mind,” Tarar said.

He called for the matter to be sent to the Senate Secretariat, so a report is prepared and shared with the chairman Senate. “The chairman Senate will decide the future course of action on it,” the law minister observed.

The matter was then sent to the Senate Secretariat by the PPP’s parliamentary leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman

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