ISLAMABAD -  Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani yesterday strongly reacted to former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s statement about democracy saying the dictator was not intimidating rather he was trying to let down the democratic forces.

In an interview to a foreign media outlet, Musharraf remarked that democracy was not conducive for a country like Pakistan. He said that the military in Pakistan has played an important role in politics.

Rabbani could not hold back his remarks and said: “This is very serious”, after JUI-F Senator Hafiz Hamdullah raised the issue on the floor of the House, declaring Musharraf's remarks ‘a true dictatorial statement’.

“Gen Musharraf who had toppled a democratically elected government in October 1999, and now he has given a dictatorial statement in the same month, which we strongly condemn, as democratic forces have buried the doctrine of necessity,” said Hamdullah.

He came down hard on the former military ruler and said that the doctors diagnosed him with a backbone issue, but they should have also examine his mental sickness as he seriously needs to consult a psychiatrist.

The JUI-F lawmaker said that the former military general should know that he had the backing of judges, the generals, and politicians of the country in 1999 but things have changed altogether here. "So he must not indulge in politics."

“We strongly condemn whatever he has said about the democracy in Pakistan, and this should be clear to everyone that no other system except democracy is acceptable to the people of this country,” he added.

Referring to a recently inaugurated “Gali-e-Dastoor’ by chairman Senate Raza Rabbani where the military interventions of past have been identified as the darkest time of the country, the JUI-F senator recommended to at least pay a visit in a month to have a glimpse of military rules in Pakistan.

“At least we, the politicians, the journalists, the generals and other people should at least visit Gali-e-Dastoor once in a month so that we can understand how military rulers and martial laws destroyed this country,” he added.

Senator Usman Khan Kakar of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) said that the pensioned general wanted the powerful establishment of the country to follow into his footstep, which shows there is something fishy.

The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) and the government must explain, as Musharraf has clearly stated that the army helped him in leaving the country, while the government had a different point of view when the dictator left the country under the pretext of getting a medical treatment.

Speaking on a point of public importance, Senator Dawood Khan Achakzai said that Chinese ambassador to Pakistan has given a press statement in which he had plainly stated that the western route is not part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project (CPEC).

He demanded of the government to explain about it as the prime minister has repeatedly been saying the western route is very much part of CPEC and it will be completed by 2018.

He also demanded of the chair to summon the prime minister who is holding the portfolio of communication minister, to Senate and brief the house as the statement from the Chinese ambassador could not be taken lightly come what may.    

However, chairman Senate Raza Rabbani asked the senator to wait for some days, saying the statement could be wrong and the Chinese embassy may issue a rebuttal, adding if there comes no denial of the envoy’s statement, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal will be directed to brief the house on the controversy.