Clash among institutions

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CHAIRMAN Senate Mian Raza Rabbani once again on Friday emphasized upon the need for dialogue among institutions as a way forward to alleviate inter-institutional reservations and mistrust. He floated the proposal on the floor of the upper house a day earlier and reiterated it at a conference held in connection with the celebration of 70 years of Parliament and launching of a book at Lok Virsa in Islamabad, which reflected his deep concern over clash among institutions and the need to sort out the issue through dialogue. One may differ with Mian Raza Rabbani on other issues but no one can dispute his commitment and sincerity to the cause of democracy and supremacy of Parliament without which the country cannot progress and prosper as we have witnessed in our checkered history.  His concern is understandable as he is Chairman of an institution that is symbol of the federation and it is appreciable that Raza Rabbani has not sit idle in the face of growing tension among institutions. It is all the more important that the Chairman is not playing to the galleries as he has the intention of extending formal invitations to heads/representatives of the executive, judiciary and the armed forces to sit-together and have brainstorming session to discuss threadbare an issue that is at the heart of problems of the country but has never been discussed in a purposeful manner. Rabbani has a point in saying that Parliament has been the weakest of the institutions despite the fact that it is supreme in the Constitutional scheme of things. The founder of the country envisioned Pakistan as a democracy, its first Constitution was democratic and parliamentary in nature and the prevailing one also envisages similar provisions but the Constitution has never received the respect it deserves from any of the players, not even from those whose power base is supposed to be the Parliament and their interest is there in strict implementation of the Constitution. It is also strange that heads and members of all important institutions take oath pledging to respect and uphold the Constitution but practically there is scant respect to the otherwise sacred documents. The proposed dialogue should, therefore, look for grey areas, reasons that lead to transgression of the Constitutional limits by institutions and how to prevent recurrence of the situation in future. Chairman Senate has also kick-started a public debate on the issue, which would help crystallize many aspects of the problem before an actual dialogue takes but its fate hinges on the attitude of all stakeholders. However, one thing is quite obvious that the country cannot stabilize, progress or get its due place in the comity of nations if the messy conditions that it witnessed over the last seventy years are allowed to continue.