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Rabbani says one-sided accountability will not work in Pakistan


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Senator Raza Rabbani speaking on the floor of the Upper House on Friday said one-sided accountability would not work.

“Are politicians the only corrupt people in society,” Rabbani asked as he reiterated his call for across the board the board accountability.

“One-sided accountability will not work in Pakistan. Politicians are not the only ones who are corrupt, unfortunately, everyone in society including myself is corrupt. If there is to be accountability let there be across the board accountability. Let the judiciary be accountable let the civil and military bureaucracy be accountable. But for this we are not ready,” Rabbani stressed.

The PPP leader also called for the formation of a federal accountability commission comprising all stakeholders.

“NAB would be a subordinate of this commission which would decide if a reference had to be filed,” he said.

Rabbani added that when it came to accountability politicians were easy prey. “If you want society to improve and eliminate corruption, the root cause needs to be addressed.”

‘Aspersions raised on Senate chairman’

Rabbani was critical of the standoff between the government and Senate Chairman Sadiq Sajrani over Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.

A day earlier, Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani placed a ban on Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry from attending the session until he apologised for his outburst against the opposition.

Following a cabinet meeting, Chaudhry quoted the prime minister saying: “Nobody has the right to disrespect any minister.” The minister added if the Senate chairman was unable to bring order to the House, then the government would have to think over its strategy. Chaudhry further said that he was voted in by the people of Pakistan while the Sanjrani was not elected.

Rabbani said in the past no dictator had the audacity to say anything against the Senate chairman and National Assembly speaker. “Today aspersions are raised on the Senate chairman,” Rabbani added.

Turing to the acting Senate Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla, Rabbani said: “The prime minister is elected to the office through indirect votes of National Assembly members.”

During his address, Rabbani emphasised that he could not accept that the statements about the Senate chairman were made by the prime minister or the cabinet. “I cannot accept this because they [prime minister, cabinet] would not destroy the constitution like this.”

The PPP leader said the government had come into power on the platform of rooting out corruption, questioning why under trial cases were being raised on the floor.

‘Cabinet didn’t discuss Senate chairman’s conduct’

In response to Rabbani, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said there was no discussion of the Senate chairman’s conduct during the cabinet meeting.

“I am proud of Prime Minister Imran Khan who said in the cabinet meeting that he was willing to sacrifice his government but would not tolerate corrupt ministers,” Ali Muhammad Khan added.

The minister emphasised that they were on the same page with Rabbani and would work together against corruption. “We will not let any damage be done to Parliament.”

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