ISLAMABAD -  The Senate on Friday observed International Day of Democracy with the pledge to ensure that all the institutions continue working within the constitution and without overstepping the mandated role of each other.

“If any institution works above the authority granted to it in the constitution that would not be [a] positive development for democracy in Pakistan,” Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said in his observations in the Upper House.

He made those observations after a number of senators highlighted various aspects of the state of democracy in the country.

“Now when democracy in the country is being subjected to jolts from different directions, it is imperative for the government to strengthen the parliament, while learning lessons from the past,” the senate chairman emphasised.

On the other hand, the members from treasury and opposition benches paid tributes to all the political leaders and workers who have rendered sacrifices for promotion of democracy in Pakistan.

By and large, they emphasised the need for removing lacunas in empowering the local governments, saying if the people at the grassroots level were empowered they would embrace ownership of the democratic system and its continuity.

The Senate also discussed the president's address to the joint sitting of the parliament.

Taking part in the debate, the senators termed the president's address as balanced and urged the government to ponder over the shortcomings mentioned by Mamnoon Hussain.

They said that all the indicators had improved due to the prudent policies of the government as the country got GSP-Plus status, membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and recognition on other world forums.

The Senate members said that the government had successfully completed the census process.

They said militancy had been defeated and the economy had been put on upward trajectory.

The senators also called for good neighbourly relations with Afghanistan and India.

They, however, lauded the government for strengthening relations with Russia and other countries of the world.

They said that the tribal areas should be mainstreamed in the light of the Fata reforms.

Earlier, the Senate was informed that the government was making all out efforts to promote sports to involve more youth in the country.

Responding to a question, during question hour, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Riaz Hussain Pirzada said that inter-university level sports competitions were being encouraged.

To another question, the minister said entire Pakistan had been divided in 16 regions to promote domestic cricket in the country.

Pirzada said that regional cricket associations were responsible to promote, develop, regulate and maintain general control of cricket in their respective regions.

The house was adjourned to meet again on Monday afternoon.