ISLAMABAD: The Chairman Senate Standing Committee and Law and Justice, Barrister Ali Zafar on Wednesday proposed to conduct public hearings from Southern Punjab on a bill for creation of a new province – a long-standing demand of its people – in the Saraiki belt.

Presiding over a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice, he expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in vetting various bills pending before the Law and Justice Ministry.

He issued directive to the ministry to ensure submission of the required briefs at its earliest, to attain finality on the bills.

The Constitutional Amendment bill 2021, (Amendment of Article 59) introduced by Senator Seemi Ezdi was deferred for further deliberation.

She said that 5th Population and Housing Census, conducted in 1998 identified population of persons, with disabilities in Pakistan to be 2.38 percent of the entire population, after which no authentic survey was conducted.

She said that objective of the bill is to ensure that persons with disabilities should directly through freely chosen representatives, including the right of opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and to be elected.

“They must be representative in the parliament also,” she maintained.

Barrister Zafar, while vetting on the bill sought definition on the person with “disability”.

Senator Musadik Masood Malik said that the definitions of the “minority” can also be re-defined to bring more clarity in the amendment.

“Minority is not shown by number but by power,” he added.

The chairman committee directed the ministry to expedite the process of obtaining data by the attached stakeholders, so to reach the finality on the bill.

He also directed to provide historical data and worldwide practice in this regard.

The Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Amendment of Articles 111,140,260 and 275) by Senator Shahadat Awan was also deferred with the recommendations that the amendment should only be to the extent of Article 260 of the constitution.

The chairman committee said that the bill should be amended in a way which should not show inconsistency with the existing provision.

Senator Awan informed the committee that amendment of article 275 of the constitution has been withdrawn. The bill was deferred for further deliberation.

Some of the bills including ‘The constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ (Amendment of Article 89) introduced by Senator Raza Rabbani were also deferred.

The Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Insertion of Article 25 B) by Senator Saadia Abbasi and Mushahid Hussain was also deferred.

The Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (Insertion of Article 17A and Amendment of Articles 51 and 106 by Saadia Abbasi in the senate on 12h July, 2021 was also deferred.

The Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (amendment of Article 37) introduced by Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan was also deferred.

At the outset of the meeting, Barrister Zafar proposed to constitute a sub-committee to clear the misinterpretations of media with regards to the text (content) of various bills passed in Senate.

He said that the subcommittee would include representation from journalist associations to remove the misinterpretations and confusions of the media with regards to bills passed by the Parliament.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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