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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Tuesday subsided all other engagements only to devote his time and energy to convince the lawmakers to put their weight behind his Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in all important Senate elections scheduled for today (Wednesday).

At the same time, Dr Shaikh also sprang into action and personally visited the residences of each and every lawmaker inside the Parliament Lodges, KP House, Minister’s Enclave, and the Punjab House, seeking votes for himself as he is set to face PPP heavyweight and former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani from the federal capital.

According to sources, Shaikh has assured the lawmakers they would not have any issue regarding development funds in the future, as he would make sure the MNAs get their uplift funds without any bureaucratic delays. During his meeting with MNAs of the PTI and coalition parties, the prime minister, according to sources, seemed quite confident about the victory of Shaikh, as all the MNAs belonging to both the PTI and the coalition partners assured him of their full support.

However, they said that majority of the MNAs were unanimous to complain to the prime minister about development funds, for which the prime minister gave them assurance there would no such obstacle in future.

Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar, federal ministers, Shafqat Mehmood, Asad Umer and Syed Aminul Haq, and special assistant to the prime minister Amir Dogar, were seen welcoming the MNAs, and escorting them to the PM’s chamber with big smiles on their faces.

The MNAs who met the prime minister include Raja Riaz Ahmed (NA-110), Raza Nasrullah Ghumman (NA-105), Khurram Shehzad (NA-107), Sardar Talib Hussain Nakai (NA-140), Rahat Amanullah Bhatti (NA-119), Malik Karamat Ali Khokhar (NA-135), Tahir Sadiq (NA-55), Muhammad Ibrahim Khan (NA-158), Haji Imtiaz Ahmed Chaudhry (NA-85), Syed Faizul Hassan (NA-70), Chaudhry Shaukat Ali Bhatti (NA-87), Syed Mubeen Ahmed (NA-175), Zahoor Hussain Qureshi (NA-152), Prince Muhammad Nawaz (NA-12), Sher Akbar Khan (NA-9), Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti (NA-259), Khalid Hussain Magsi (NA-260), Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui (NA-255), Sabir Hussain Qaimkhani (NA-226), Salahuddin (NA-227), Usama Qadri (NA-253), Iqbal Muhammad Ali (NA-240), and Kishwar Zehra.

NA SESSION

In a bid to stop rampant corruption in the country, the National Assembly, on Tuesday, passed a bill titled, ‘The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2020”.

The bill moved by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Sher Akbar Khan was passed by the lower house of parliament, after presentation of the report by the relevant standing committee.

According to statement of objects and reasons, the “bill is aimed at controlling the menace of corruption and to make the existing law on prevention of corruption more effective.”

Another bill titled, “The Ibadat International University, Islamabad Bill, 2021” sponsored by another PTI MNA Amjad Ali Khan Niazi was also passed by the House.

Some 35 reports of the National Assembly standing committees were presented in the NA.

The reports of other committees which were presented in the House by their respective chairpersons or designated members include, ‘The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Prohibition of Smoking and Protection of Non-Smokers Health (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Control of Narcotics Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2019, The Pakistan Penal Code ( Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Election (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Limitation (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Marine Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Safeguard Measures (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Press, News, News Agencies and Books Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Pakistan Psychological Council Bill, 2020, The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020, The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2020, and The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Standing Committee on Law and Justice Chairman Riaz Fatyana presented reports of Committee on five bills seeking amendments in Articles 26-A, 251, 89, 25-A and 51 of the Constitution.

Nafeesa Khattak also presented the report of the Standing Committee on the bill to provide for the regulation of employment of domestic workers in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) (The Islamabad Capital Territory Domestic Workers Bill, 2020.

She also presented the report of the Standing Committee on the bill to further amend the Pakistan Penal Code, 1960 and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 (The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2020. She also presented the report of the Standing Committee on Interior on the bill to further amend the Prevention of Smuggling of Migrants Act, 2018 (the Prevention of Smuggling of Migrants (Amendment) Bill 2020). She also presented the report on the bill to provide for prevention of trafficking of persons and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto (The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2020). MNA Jai Parkash Ukrani presented the report of the Standing Committee on Health Services, Regulations and Coordination on the bill further to amend the Islamabad Transfusion of Safe Blood Ordinance, 2002 (The Islamabad Transfusion of Safe Blood (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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