Senate committee accords approval to anti-terrorism bill

Staff Report
Saturday - December 30, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Senate standing committee on interior, met on Friday, and accorded approval to “the anti-terrorism (amendment) bill, 2017” moved by senators Mukhtiar Dhamra and Murtaza Wahab, “the Pakistan penal code, 1860 and the code of criminal procedure, 1898 (the criminal laws (amendment) bill, 2017” moved by senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja; an official statement said.

According to detail, committee chairman senator Rehman Malik formed a special committee comprising of its members senator Muahmmad Ali Saif and senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi  to further elaborate “the miscarriage of justice (compensation) bill, 2017” moved by senator Azam Swati.

Other than these three bills, the committee also discussed “the criminal laws (amendment) (protection of rights of transgender persons) bill, 2017” moved by senator Rubina Khalid.

The committee heard council of Islamic ideology chairman on the matter, who told the committee that council’s meeting is scheduled to be held on January 17th on the said issue and that the council will report to the committee in a few days after the meeting.

The committee heard Islamabad police inspector general (IG) Azam Taimori and Islamabad police senior superintendent police operation (SSP) Sajid Keyani on the incident of attack on a journalist Ahmed Noorani.

The victim was also present in the meeting who apprised the committee about his grievances. Committee chairman Malik directed the IG to meet the victim journalist in person, listen to him and conclude the investigation into the case within next 15 days.

He assured Noorani that the committee supports him and held that attacks on journalists are a matter of great concerns for him and the committee.  

After hearing both sides Malik decided to have an in-camera session on the matter in the next meeting.

Senior journalist Hamid Mir also attended the meeting as attack on him was on agenda, in this regard chairman directed the ministry to submit a detailed report in the next meeting and also summoned Sindh police IG and Sindh home secretary for the next meeting to know about the developments so far in the investigation.

The matter of sub-standard ink being used on front page of official passports was also discussed. Passports director general (DG) was directed to resolve and report back to the committee in a month.

The committee strongly condemned the terror attack on bethel memorial church in Quetta on December 18, in which 9 innocent people were killed. Committee prayed for those who lost their lives in the attack and expressed sympathies with bereaved families.

Malik moved a resolution against the terror attack which was unanimously passed by the members.

He said, “This committee terms it as an attack on the entire Pakistan. The services of Christian community in building Pakistan are highly appreciable and the whole Pakistani nation stands with the Christian community.”

“This committee demands from the government of Pakistan that a thorough investigation be done and culprits brought to justice. We also demand from federal and provincial governments that security should be enhanced at the Churches across the country,” Malik said.

He added, “The committee appreciates the timely action by Balochistan police and a security guard on duty who killed the suicide bomber” asserting “The committee recommends awarding Sitara-e-Shujaat to him for his excellent professional judgement and courage.”

The meeting was attended by senators Shibli Faraz, Shahi Syed, Tahir Mashhadi, Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Javed Abbasi, Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Sardar Fateh Hassani, Rubina Khalid, Azam Swati, Mukhtiar Dhamra, Karim Ahmed Khwaja, Rubina Khalid, interior special secretary, passport office DG, Islamabad police IG, SSP operations and council of Islamic ideology chairman.