QUETTA - Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani yesterday said the parliament had become the most vulnerable institution of the country and called for inter-institutional dialogue to bring the country out of the prevailing crisis.

Speaking as the chief guest at a national seminar held in the memory of the 54 lawyers martyred last year in a suicide attack in Civil Hospital Quetta, he said the parliament stands really weak ‘today’ as anyone could launch a tirade and attack against it.

The democratic forces struggled against a dictator and got Article 58(2)(b) removed from the Constitution but now another method has arisen, Rabbani said referring to recent dislodging of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister by the Supreme Court.

The above mentioned constitutional clause was inserted in 1985 by Gen Ziaul Haq and was used by military dictators and presidents to dismiss political governments. It was removed from the constitution through the 18th Amendment, passed by the Pakistan Peoples Party government in 2010.

The Senate chairman called for religious implementation of the 1973 constitution for the country to progress. He urged the executive, the judiciary and military establishment to work within their constitutional parameters.

“No civilian needs to obtain a certificate of patriotism from Rawalpindi,” Rabbani said referring to the military. The judiciary, military and parliament all should play their role for the rule law and democracy, he added.

“Inter-institutional dialogue between the executive, the parliament and the judiciary is imperative for paving the way for amicable solution of the country’s issues,” he said. “The senate’s forum is ready to host this dialogue,” he added.

Speaking about security of the citizens, the Senate chairman asserted the state was responsible for safeguarding citizens’ lives and their properties.

“We are not against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), but concrete steps should also be taken for public security,” averred the chief guest. He went on to say that a special division of security forces was constituted for the security of those working on CPEC projects, but the state has failed to secure its own people.

Rabbani urged all the institutions to give suggestions on how to deal with terrorism and poverty. He stressed the need for a complete harmony among parliament, judiciary, bureaucracy and military, adding any confrontation would be dangerous for the country and the federation. “I don’t wish to see a confrontation among state institutions,” he said.

The seminar, organised under the aegis of Advocate Baz Muhammad Shaheed Foundation, was participated by Leader of Opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, Senator Dr Jahanzeb Jamaldini of BNP-Mengal, Provincial Minister Nawab Muhammad Khan Shahwani, HDP Chairman Abdul Khaliq Hazara and a large number of lawyers and civil society members.

Raza Rabbani paid glowing tribute to the lawyers martyred in the August 8, 2016 suicide attack. “We salute Shaheed Baz Muhammad Kakar and his colleagues,” he said.

Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan in his address lamented that religious extremism had inflicted unfathomable damage to the country.

He paid tribute to the martyrs, and said Quetta lawyers had bravely stood against General Pervez Musharaf who had attacked the judiciary. “Their struggle and services will always be remembered,” he added.

The senator said Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are reeling under extremism and terrorism. He said “we have become so intolerant, extremist and sectarian that we declare infidels all those who do not subscribe to our ideology”. Murder or martyrdom, as you may prefer to call it, has become so commonplace that no one considers it an issue anymore, he added.

Aitzaz said it was not the right approach for the people of smaller provinces to blame Punjab for all their problems and afflictions. “Before you complain about Punjab, you should complain to your local leaders who collaborate with the rulers from Punjab for power but ignore your issues.”

Pakistan was created to be an Islamic welfare state, but it has become a national security state, he lamented.

Aitzaz regretted that what they have got after the lawyers movement for restoration of judiciary is a violent breed of lawyers in Punjab and arrogant judges. He alleged that the judges they got restored through that movement were pursuing their self interest.

Dr Lal Khan Kakar, brother of Shaheed Baz Muhammad Kakar, Dr Jahanzeb Jamaldini, Abdul Khaliq Hazara and others also addressed the seminar.