ISLAMABAD -  Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani on Friday said that parliament was being wrongly blamed that “it does not discharge its duties properly and take up issues of national interest”.

On the first day of the fresh Senate session, Rabbani while referring to a recent judgement of the Supreme Court in which the apex court had asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to repatriate all its employees working on deputation to parent departments, said that that issue was first taken up by the Senate. “I want to bring this point on record that the Supreme Court has handed down a recent judgement regarding appointments and absorptions in the NAB while this issue was first taken up in the Senate,” he said.

“This issue had been discussed in the upper house at different times through questions, adjournment motions and call attention notices,” he said.

Pakistan People’s Party Senator Saeed Ghani was the first person, who had raised the issue in the house, the Senate chairman recalled. Rabbani remarked that it would have been better if the government and the NAB would have taken action when the Senate had taken notice of the issue.

Separately, lawmakers passed two unanimous resolutions commending the services the late PPP leader, Jehangir Badr, and the late ANP leader Haji Adeel.

The senators also held a discussion on a condolence reference for Jehangir Badr while a separate debate on the condolence reference for Haji Adeel would be held the next week.

The house expressed its profound grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Badr who breathed his last on November 13 due to cardiac arrest, says the resolution. “Throughout his political career, he raised voice against the dictatorship and also remained behind bars during the regimes of Gen Yahya, Gen Ziaul Haq and Gen Pervez Musharraf.” “He was also subjected to lashes during the dictatorial regime of Gen Zia but he never changed his party affiliation and views, the resolution says.     

Speaking on the reference for Jehangir Badr, Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that the struggle of the late politician against dictatorship would be remembered in the history of the country. PPP Senator Rehman Malik said that Jehangir Badr was a symbol of friendship. He suggested that the committee rooms should be named after the late senators who had done work for the supremacy of constitution and democracy.  Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while commenting his (Badr’s) unflinching commitment for the party quoted two examples saying he named his son as Zulfiqar Badr and chose Benazir Bhutto as a topic for his PhD thesis. Dar also mentioned his role in the signing of the Charter of Democracy (CoD), a landmark document in the political history of Pakistan.

The resolution passed to commend the services of Haji Adeel said that “the house expresses its profound grief and sorrow over the sad demise of former Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel who breathed his last on November 18th. “He was from a family of anti-imperialists, the son of Hakeem Abdul Jalil. He himself was a great exponent of provincial rights,” says the resolution.

In addition to that, the Senate chairman remarked that this house should hold a debate over a matter whether the president should address the joint sitting of the parliament with the start of the National Assembly’s new parliamentary year or with the commencement of the new solar year.

Presently, the president addresses the joint sitting of the parliament with the start of the new parliamentary year of the National Assembly. The house would debate the issue from next Thursday and the chair asked the senators having the legal background to assist him in this connection. Senators Aitzaz Ahsan, Barrister Saif, Farooq H Naek, Syed Muzaffar Shah, Javed Abbasi and Dr Babar Awan would assist the chair. The chair also directed the law and parliamentary affairs ministries to give their input on the matter.