Senate condemns mock trial against Malik with one voice
ISLAMABAD – The PPP, an allied party in the ruling coalition, on Wednesday urged both the government and the opposition PTI to exercise restraint to end the ongoing political chaos in the country with the warning that the system was under threat.
The advice came from PPP stalwart and former chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani amid strong condemnations from both sides of the aisle on the life imprisonment ordered by an Indian court to Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik on frivolous charges of funding terrorist activities in a mock trial. Taking part in the debate on the fake trial of Hurriyat leader Malik as well as on the political situation in the country, Senator Rabbani said that the ongoing situation in the country after the long protest march of PTI was ringing alarm bells of civil war.
He lamented that it had become a tradition that both the stakeholders, the government and the opposition, allude to the third force — a reference to the military establishment. “I request both the political stakeholders (the PML-N & the PTI) to save the situation in the larger interest of the country to bring political stability and to ensure rule of law.” The former chairman Senate said that the federation would be under threat if the present system was wrapped up. He also said that though he had differences with the PTI the way it was pushing the country towards fascism but “this doesn’t condone the fact that political workers are being manhandled and arrested by the police, which was unfortunate. He said that only political and economic stability would warrant the state to follow an independent foreign policy. Rabbani condemned the life imprisonment awarded to the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Malik.
PML-N Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed also condemned some acts of the government and talked about the cases against certain journalists and said, “This should not happen in a democracy”. Senators belonging to the treasury and opposition in their speeches condemned the decision of the Indian court ordering life in jail for the Kashmiri leader and called for adopting a clear policy with regard to Kashmir. The house deferred a decision to adopt a condemnation resolution on Yasin Malik’s sentence stressing that the same should be adopted in the upcoming joint sitting of the parliament.
Mushahid said arrests of political activists and lawmakers without any legal remedy was wrong and not in the national interest. Senator Sayed said that India’s policy of treatment of prisoners in Kashmir was similar to that of treatment of prisoners in Israel. “We reject the sham trial of a kangaroo court.” He urged that Pakistan should take the issue of Kashmir to the International Court of Justice.
He also suggested that Mushaal Mullick, the wife of the imprisoned Kashmiri leader, should be appointed as special envoy on Kashmir. He also opposed the idea of opening trade with India. “Let be very clear on Kashmir policy … No appeasement… No trade with oppressors.”
Law Minister and Leader of the House in the Senate Azam Nazeer Tarar also criticized the decision of the Indian court and said that they should ask the international human rights bodies to record the protest with India. He said that the court violated the law and Constitution while ordering life in jail to the iconic leader in a fake trial.
Senator Tarar said that Chairman PTI Imran Khan should not run away from the legislature, as problems could be resolved on the floor of the Parliament. He warned the PTI protestors if the state writ would be challenged, then there was a legal and constitutional mechanism to deal with it.