Rabbani urges strong linkages between senate, provinces

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ISLAMABAD, March 16 (APP): Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani
Thursday underscored the need for strong linkages between the Senate and provincial assemblies.
He held an interaction with members of the provincial
assemblies at the Parliament House, a press release said.
He emphasized that strong connection with provinces would enable the Senate to protect rights of the under developed territories in a more effective manner.
Replying to various questions from the members of the
provincial assemblies, chairman Senate observed that 18th
Constitutional Amendment was a major breakthrough towards provincial autonomy and provinces were given right over natural resources.
He said 18th amendment brought a paradigm shift in the
political landscape as instead of center, provinces were granted
more autonomy.
He said Senate took a number of initiatives
for better coordination with provinces and to evolve an
institutional mechanism and had proposed amendments in this regard.
Rabbani said the provincial chief ministers could address
the house and apprize important matters related to federal government.
Regarding National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, he said the NFC was an important issue.
One of the major leaps towards empowering the Senate was to
extend equal voting rights during joint sitting of the Parliament as
currently the National Assembly outnumbers the Senate during the
joint session.
He remarked that this step would enable the Senate to play a
more effective and proactive role for provincial integration and
national unity.
He said balance of powers between the two houses of the parliament would further strengthen the federation in the long run.
Responding to a question from a member of the provincial
assembly on NAB plea bargain and the role of the Senate, the
Chairman Senate said plea bargain was a sensitive issue and the
matter was first raised in the Senate.
The Senate would play its constitutional role and would not let it die down.