ISLAMABAD: The three retired generals suspected of involvement in the National Logistics Cell (NLC) scam should be tried in civil courts, Senator Raza Rabbani said in a speech on Saturday that advocated supremacy of parliament over all other institutions, including military bureaucracy.
Addressing a “youth parliament” on “civil-military relations in Pakistan”, he said the National Security Council should be abolished since it had “created problems instead of solving them”.
He said the country had been founded as a democratic state, but it went into the hands of military dictators after the deaths of Quaid-i-Azam and Liaquat Ali Khan.
“There should be consultation between the government and military bureaucracy and decisions should be taken by the government. But people find the concept strange because they are not used to it.“I do not support the idea of a national security adviser because that will create another centre of power. I am also against the National Security Council introduced by Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf.
“There should instead be a defence committee of parliament, headed by the prime minister,” Raza Rabbani said.
The senator asserted that the initiatives made by the current parliament would turn out to be decisive ones and no one would be able to roll them back.
“Parliament has made a beginning in the right direction. The measures cannot be rolled back.
“For the first time in the history of Pakistan, parliament was allowed to have an in camera debate about the defence policy. The directors general of Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Operations briefed parliamentarians for seven hours. A resolution was passed and 63 recommendations were made for implementation,” Raza Rabbani added.
ANTI ISLAM FILM: The senator said the government was awake to the nation’s outrage over the anti-Islam movie, recalling the observance of Friday as a day of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and summoning of the United States’ ambassador to hand over a protest note.
“But it is unfortunate that some elements made the protest violent. It appears that there was some agenda behind it, ” Raza Rabbani said.
In reply to questions by members of the youth parliament, he said there was a suggestion by PPP leaders that dictators who derailed democracy should be tried in courts, but it had not been implemented in the best interest of the country because acting against the army chief amounted to taking action against the institution.
He said Article 6 of the Constitution could not resist military dictators.
Regarding the National Logistics Cell case, Senator Rabbani said: “It appears strange that retired generals will be reinstated and then tried. Serving military officers should face court martial, but the retired ones be tried in civil courts.”
In reply to a question about judicial activism, he said: “There is a trichotomy of power and we are moving in the right direction. I don’t see a clash among institutions. In fact, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court should be extended to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.”
He criticised the United States for violating the country’s airspace by launching drone attacks, terming them a violation of UN rules.