ISLAMABAD          -          Former Chairman Senate and PPP Senator Mian Raza Rabbani on Friday said that the Parliament has become dysfunctional in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

He also criticised the political parties of the country for not playing their due role in the making the Parliament functional in these testing times.

“Parliament is dysfunctional (at a time when there is outbreak of pandemic in the country) and let alone being supreme, it is not even autonomous,” he said in a statement ,adding, that the system of trichotomy of power as envisaged in the 1973’s Constitution has ceased to exist.  PPP stalwart went on to state that the other two components of the trichotomy of power— the executive and the judiciary— continue to function within certain constraints.

“But the Parliament cannot be summoned because that will become the epic center for the virus,” he said while stating the apprehensions of some government functionaries about the summoning of the Parliament amid coronavirus outbreak.

He criticised that the government can order opening of the factories and the construction sector but it can’t summon the Parliament. “The blame rests not only on the executive but the political parties also have surrendered.”

In the absence of Parliament, fundamental rights under the Constitution are being encroached upon as it has been reported that private personal data of 115 million mobile users of this country has been breached and cyber criminals responsible for the breach are making financial demands against providing such data to the dark web, said the Senator of major Opposition party in the Parliament. “This is all the more dangerous as for relief cell phones are being used,” he said pointing towards the government’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme for those whose livelihoods have been severely hit due to the outbreak of disease.

People are forced to go to courts for relief as there is no Parliamentary forum available, he said.

PPP lawmaker said that all decisions including financial allocations and re-allocations, varying or abolishing taxes, and receiving and utilisation of funds, donations and loans were being taken in a closed government system, with no Parliamentary or any oversight. “The 1973 Constitution today functions under the shadow of the 1962 Constitution,” he stated.