Compromise on UN resolutions opposed
22 December 2003
Our Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: The opposition in the Senate on Monday lashed out at the government for bypassing parliament while making policies on national issues, including Kashmir and the nuclear programme. Speaking at a news conference at Parliament House after walkout from the house, the parliamentary leaders of the opposition parties said an individual could not be allowed to take far reaching decisions which could damage national interests and undermine national objectives. People's Party Parliamentarians parliamentary leader Raza Rabbani said his party with its allies in the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy would oppose the amendment bill being finalized between the government and the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, whenever it was presented in parliament. He criticized the attitude of the Senate chairman and said he summarily dismissed in his chamber privilege motions filed by the opposition. He said his privilege motion against the National Assembly speaker for unconstitutionally setting up a parliamentary committee on the water crisis was also rejected by the chairman. He said the opposition would continue to expose the violation of rules and unparliamentary decisions of the government, the National Assembly speaker and the Senate chairman. He said the opposition would continue to oppose the undemocratic and whimsical decisions taken by 'an individual'. Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) parliamentary leader Ishaq Dar said Kashmir was a lifeline for the country and any compromise on the principles were set by the Quaid-i-Azam would be fatal for the nation. He criticized the unilateral ceasefire on the Line of Control and said it had helped India complete fencing along the line. He said the nation was spending a huge portion of its budget on its army to defend the cause of Kashmir and it would never compromise on its stand on the United Nations resolutions. He warned that a case was being built in the West against Pakistan on the basis of allegations that it had supplied nuclear technology to Iran and North Korea. He demanded the setting up of a Senate committee to look into the alleged detention of nuclear scientist Dr Qadeer Khan and the Khan Research Laboratories chairman. Responding to a question, he said his party would vote against the amendment package as it was determined to getting restored the Constitution that existed on Oct 12,1999. Acting MMA parliamentary leader Prof Khurshid Ahmed said President Gen Pervez Musharraf had offered a surrender on the UN resolutions on Kashmir while Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali had insisted that those would remain an integral part of any solution of the Kashmir issue. He alleged that there was disharmony among the two highest offices as a result an individual having sway over all the national institutions instead of according parliament its due role in the policymaking process on national issues. He said Pakistan's Kashmir case was based on the UN resolutions which the general had offered to leave aside in talks with India. He said no solution to the Kashmir dispute was possible without taking the Kashmiri people along and seeking their opinion through an internationally organized plebiscite as sought by the UN resolutions and accepted by the Indian government. He expressed the fear that the future of nuclear deterrent was in grave danger as Gen Musharraf's regime was continuously retreating on the issue under the dictates of the United States. He said Pakistan was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and it should not accept any foreign pressure on its nuclear capability. He said two senior KRL scientists were being grilled under American pressure while it appeared that Dr Khan would also get a similar treatment. He said this 'surrender after surrender' was happening because one man was taking all decisions on behalf of the nation without consulting the prime minister, the cabinet and parliament. Raza Ahmed Raza of the Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party said the opposition should close its ranks against the passage of the proposed amendment package which was detrimental to the federal parliamentary system. He warned that the people of smaller units would be forced to demand a new constitution if the amendments were accepted. He criticized the judiciary and said 'the judges sworn in under the Provisional Constitutional Order could not be expected to deliver justice to the poor people of the country.' Amanullah Kanrani of the Jamhoori Watan Party criticized the government's decision of setting up a cantonment in Dera Bugti, against which the Balochistan Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution. Maulana Rahat Hussain of the MMA said the future of around 250 students was uncertain after the de-recognition of the Islamabad Medical and Dental College.