Senate panel rejects PRRM Bill

  • The Bill was presented by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Javed Abbasi.
Published February 1, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony on Monday rejected a ( private Bill) the Protection of the Rights of Religious Minorities (PRRM) Bill, saying minorities were enjoying complete religious freedom in the country.

The meeting of the committee chaired by JUI-F Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri observed that existing laws were already providing unprecedented religious freedom to minorities.

The Bill was presented by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Javed Abbasi.

Chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said the Incumbent government was constructing even temples for minorities. Minorities have the liberty to establish their religious educational institutes. Temple vandalising in Karak had wrongly been attributed to the Muslims.

Senator Siraj-ul-Haq termed the Minority Protection Bill as part of the agenda of non governmental organisations (NGOs), saying Nikah of juveniles can’t be solemnised.

Mover of the Bill Javed Abbasi said the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan guarantees minority rights. Eight million Hindus were living in Pakistan. Minorities should have the opportunities to go to their sacred religious places in a free environment.

PPP Senator Krishna Kumari Kolhi (Kishoo Bai) walked out from the meeting in a protest over rejection of the Bill.

The committee endorsed the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961, (Amendment) Bill 2020 with the directions of further amendments in it.The Bill was moved by Senator Javed Abbasi.

Javed Abbasi said special allowance for elderly parents, who have no other source of income, should be made part of the law.

The Committee approved amending Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961.

The committee also approved The Guardian and Wards (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The committee discussed evolving a mechanism for the protection of Quranic verses published in newspapers and others.

Briefing the committee, Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Ejaz Khan Jaffar said the ministry has decided to establish a recycling plant in the capital to dispose of old pages of the Holy Quran.

A plant will be established on the capital’s outskirts to recycle old pages of the Quran, he said, adding that this will be the country’s first such recycling plant. Ministry was issuing guidelines to newspapers for publication of Quranic verses in newspapers.

Nan Bais (Bread Bakers) had been instructed to use khaki paper instead of newspapers.

The ministry has prepared a Bill, according to which a board would be assigned the responsibilities to supervise publication of Quran.

The committee directed the ministry to devise the mechanism of recycling in collaboration with the provinces.

Senator Fida Muhammad Khan suggested for banning publication of Quranic verses in newspapers and stressed imposing life imprisonment to desecrators of the holy Quran.


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