July 3rd, 2021
By Rehan Piracha
The roll back of the 18th Constitutional Amendment and Pakistan’s re-engagement with the Taliban militia are the two foremost existential threats to the country, Farhatullah Babar, Pakistan People Party Secretary General, said at a memorial reference for late senator Usman Kakar.
The memorial reference for Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party leader, organized by the Pakistani Students Collective, was held in the auditorium of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in the city.
Babar said Usman Kakar had spoken about his fears of centrist tendencies in the country. “The powers-to-be have not accepted the supremacy of parliament,” he said.
He said efforts are under way to roll back 18th Amendment that took away powers from the president and courts to sanction military takeovers.
The former Pakistan Peoples Party senator said he was happy to see students paying tribute to Usman Kakar who was a student leader and political activist. “Kakar was a champion of human rights in the Parliament,” Babar said.
The PPP leader said Usman Kakar was a voice for democracy and parliamentary and constitutional supremacy. He said he had known the late PkMAP leader for long and worked with him on the coordination committee of the Pakistan Democratic Movement as well as on the senate’s standing committee on human rights.
Farhatullah Babar said Kakar’s death brought forth the fundamental disconnect between the functionaries of the State and the citizens. He lamented that rulers in Islamabad who had condoled the death of the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan chief Khadim Rizvi choose not to offer their condolences on Kakar’s passing away. “The thinking of the functionaries of the State and that of the citizens and intellectuals do not match,” he pointed out.
Babar said Kakar used to raise voice in and outside Parliament against the fundamental disconnect between the State and its citizens. “This disconnect is the biggest threat to Pakistan which is not facing existential threat from across the border,” he said.
Babar pointed out that the second message from Kakar’s death is of people’s unity and solidarity. “Baloch, women, Hazara, and Pashtuns participated in the late senator’s massive funeral,” he said. Babar said young students should carry forward the message of unity and play their part in the struggle against oppression and injustice in society.
Referring to the security briefing to the parliamentary committee, Babar said the late PkMAP senator had frequently spoken against sending Taliban militia into Afghanistan. “Kakar was against provision of support infrastructure to Taliban militia inside Pakistan,” he added. Babar said Pakistan must refrain from providing support infrastructure to the Taliban militia within Pakistan as previously.