ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani Sunday said the pivot for all institutions functioning through or under the 1973 Constitution was the parliament.
“Centrality of the parliament is enshrined in the Constitution, 1973, as all unctions, acts, laws are performed by or through parliament,” he said addressing students at a memorial function for Pir Ilahi Bakhsh at the Government Pir Ilahi Bukhsh College, Dadu, according to a press release issued here by the Senate Secretariat.
The Senate Chairman said, “Today’s Pakistan, which is confronted by internal and external threats especially when our security forces are carrying operations against non-state actors to root out terrorism, parliament has to assume its historic role of uniting the nation and all institutions functioning under the Constitution. It has to be the voice and face of Pakistan, in particular, to external threats against the sovereignty of Pakistan."
He referred to the role played by the parliament on Kalbushan Yadev’s issue and responding to the US President’s policy on Afghanistan and in particular, saying its outright rejection of certain world powers trying to assign India the role of policeman in the region, was praiseworthy.
Rabbani said the parliament was the chain which kept the Federation united through the Senate of Pakistan and Article 153 i.e. the Council of Common Interests (CCI).”
He said , “Article 1 provides that if any new state or area is to be admitted into the Federation of Pakistan, it is only parliament which can do so through law. Article 27 provides that any under-representation of any area in the services of Pakistan may be redressed by an act of parliament. The President under Article 41 is elected by the parliament and provincial assemblies. Similarly, under Article 48 the sanction of a referendum is given by parliament.”
“Articles 50–89 define the parliament, its powers and procedures. Every inch in Pakistan is represented through 104 Senators, 342 MNAs and 728 MPAs, thus each and every citizen is represented in the democratic polity”.
Under Article 70, he said, the parliament had the power to legislate money bills and provide for the budget. Another very important aspect was that Article 77 "provides that no tax shall be levied except by the authority of an act of parliament."
The Constitution, he said, provided to the extent that if when the National Assembly stood dissolved, the Federal Government may incur expenditures for a period of four months but the same would be ratified by the National Assembly as provided under Article 86.
"The National Assembly elects the Prime Minister and under Clause 6 of Article 91, the Cabinet is responsible to the Senate and the National Assembly. The extent of the executive authority of the Federation under Article 97 shall extend to matters with respect to which parliament has powers to make laws”.
The Senate Chairman said, “The government will come to a grinding halt and the state machinery will stop functioning if parliament was not to act because Article 98 confers function on sub-ordinate authorities by law made by the parliament. Article 144 provides for parliament to legislate for one or more provinces with their consent, Article 151 provides that parliament may impose restrictions on intra-provincial trade”.
He said, “Complaints with reference to interference in water supply are dealt with by parliament under Article 155, along with number of other powers dealing with audits and accounts of the federal taxes”.
Rabbani said, “The number of judges to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan under Article 176 is determined by an act of parliament and under Article 175-A, the Parliamentary Committee is part of the process of appointment of judges. Similarly, parliament plays a pivotal role in the appointment of Election Commissioner under Article 213, as also under Article 222 electoral laws are to be passed by parliament”.
He said the power of proclamation of emergency under Articles 232, 233 and 234 rested with parliament.
He said the parliament was the 'Shahrah' that connected the people as well as provinces to the federation and each institution to one another. Governance under 1973’s Constitution could not be visualized without the parliament.