Pakistani Parliament a new kid on the block: Khar

Last Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 22:55

Davos: Describing Pakistani Parliament as
the "new kid on the block", Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar
on Thursday said a "little bit of elbowing" was taking place in
Pakistan but things would "very soon fall in place".

"It is not such that as it may appear to the outside
world. It is a new kid on the block called the Parliament in
Pakistan. People are still to get used to this fact," Khar
said when asked if the Pakistani judiciary was going a bit too
far.

She added, "A little bit of elbowing is happening but it
is not so bad back in Pakistan. Things would very soon fall in
place."

Khar, who was speaking during a debate on `Democracy` at
the World Economic Forum summit being held here, also took a
dig at the "developed world" who she said had supported
military dictatorship in Pakistan.

Speaking about the military, she said some of the most
matured and established democracies from all over the world
have supported the non-civilian governments in Pakistan.

"Many undemocratic regimes have remained in many other
countries also. The support from the developed world has
indeed come for military leaderships in Pakistan," she said.

Her comments come in the backdrop of the intense
stand-off that the Pakistani civilian government had with the
judiciary and the powerful military over the past few weeks.

The first trigger was the memo scandal late last year
which threw the government in a political whirlpool that led
to speculations of a possible military coup.

Even before the matter rested, the government and the
judiciary were on a collision course over Pakistan Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani`s refusal to ask Switzerland to
re-open graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

Gilani was even forced to appear in person before the
apex court after it issued him a contempt notice.

Speaking on the ripple effect of the Arab Spring in
Pakistan, Khar said it would have been very different had it
about five or six years back when a "non-representative"
government was in place in Pakistan.

"But now we have a truly representative government. For
example, in many of the countries, the freedom of the media is
unparalleled in Pakistan, may be even better than some of the
most developed countries of the world.

"Even the judiciary...In the last year of Musharraf
government also, there was judicial protest that included
people from all walks of life -- the lawyers, common people
and the villagers. The ripple effect at that stage would have
been different but not today".

She said the biggest issue before Pakistan is to ensure
food for everyone. "Because of the fact that democracy is
getting the roots in Pakistan, the scenario has changed," she
said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 22:55

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