Farhatullah Babar calls for legislation to make state agencies accountable


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader, Senator Farhatullah Babar, has asked the civil society organisations to play their role in persuading the government to implement the recommendations of the Senate to address the issue of missing persons in the country.

Speaking at a memorial reference for Asma Jehangir organised by the Awami Workers Party at the National Press Club (NPC), Islamabad on Saturday, Farhatullah Babar said that the Senate recommendations also included a draft legislation to make state agencies accountable. The proposed legislation pending for over a year with the government must be passed and soon, he said.

The senator said that the days of direct takeover seemed to be over and a new model of controlled democracy had emerged. In this model, the person sitting on the wheel was not the actual driver and vital controls were operated invisibly from the rear seat, he said.

Paying tributes to Asma Jehangir, the PPP leader said that she fought against traditions that militated against the weak and the oppressed and that was why men and women, Muslims and non-Muslims, all stood shoulder to shoulder to bid her farewell. He added that in defence of liberty and freedom, Asma fought dictators whether civilian or military and whether bearded or without beard.

“She fought for the independence of judiciary but also openly criticised judgments which she thought were more political than judicial. Asma challenged the clergy on issues of blasphemy, marriageable age for girls and wali’s presence in solemnizing marriage,” he said.

Later talking to the media, Farhatullah Babar said that most of the bloggers who went missing were those who pleaded alternate theories of national security. The state does not seem to tolerate new narratives gaining traction as it will undermine the pre-eminence of some elements, he said.