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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior was held here on Monday with Senator Mohsin Aziz in the chair.

The meeting commenced with deliberations on the bill titled, “Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2022”. State Minister for Law and Justice, Senator Shahadat Awan apprised the committee that the bill is regarding forced disappearances and in the bill it is stated: “If a complainant filed a petition against forced disappearance and if the petition was found fake after some time then the petitioner will be awarded imprisonment for a term extending to five years”.

He added that this clause will hinder the public to file a petition against forced disappearances and there is a vital need to revisit few parts of the bill.

The committee advised the Interior ministry to remove ambiguity in the bill and deferred the consideration of the bill till the next meeting.

Moreover, the Senate body discussed the bill titled, “Anti-Rape (Amendment) Bill, 2022” introduced by Senator Mohsin Aziz.

The chair told the committee that the bill aims to trace and track the location of the offenders so that they can be restrained from committing any offence in the future.

State Minister for Law and Justice, Senator Shahadat Awan claimed that the bill is against Article 15 of the Constitution which provides freedom of movement to the citizens and however, it is quite difficult to trace the location of offenders because it involves the establishment of the new mechanism for the purpose. The committee deferred the consideration of the bill for further deliberations till the next meeting.

Furthermore, the bill titled, “Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2022” introduced by Senator Fawzia Arshad has also been deferred till the next meeting. Senator Fawzia Arshad told the committee that the motive of the bill is to make it obligatory for the police departments of the country that only women constables or officers can arrest women accused of any offence. State Minister for Law and Justice apprised the senate body that these clauses are already incorporated in Police Rules and the only problem lies with its implementation.

The Senate body also took up the matter of brutal use of force by law enforcement agencies against the participants of “Haqeeqi Azadi March”. Leader of Opposition Senator Dr Shahzad Waseem condemned the unlawful arrest of Senator Ejaz Chaudhary and raid on the house of Senator Walid Iqbal and maintained that the right to assembly is a fundamental right of citizens of the country and it must not be violated at any cost.

Senator Ejaz Chaudhary claimed that two months have passed since the incident happened and no action has been taken so far. Senator Mohsin Aziz directed the AIG Operations of Punjab Police, Sahibzada Mohammad Shahzad Sultan to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit a report before the committee in the next 15 days.

In addition to that, the committee discussed the recent incidents of arrests, harassment, and threats to political leaders and journalists. Senator Mohsin Aziz reiterated that “We do not have any problem with arrests but we just want to make sure that the rule of law must be followed”.

Senator Fawzia Arshad inquired the DIG ICT Sohail Zafar Chatha that “If the police had warrants at the time of arrest of Shahbaz Gill?”

In reply to that, the DIG ICT said that in cognizable offences, the police are competent to arrest the accused without warrants. The Chairman Committee, Senator Mohsin Aziz, deferred the deliberations on the matter till the next meeting and directed the IG Islamabad police to attend the next meeting.

Moreover, the committee deliberated on the killing of minority members in Sindh and the KPK. Senator Danesh Kumar expressed dissatisfaction on the data provided by Sindh police and claimed that the statistics do not reflect the true situation prevailing in the vicinity. Senator Mohsin Aziz directed the DIG Sindh Police Tariq Abbas Qureshi to submit a detailed report of all offences committed against minorities in the next 15 days.

The committee discussed the matter of former Senator Dr Muhammad Ismaeel Bulaidi regarding illegal interference in the ownership of a plot located at Gulshan-e-Maimar, Karachi.

The DIG Sindh Police West Karachi, Nasir Aftab, told the committee that primarily, the matter is related to the revenue department, however, an inquiry was conducted in which it was found that land belongs to the Government of Pakistan.

Senator Mohsin Aziz directed the commissioner Karachi to submit a report on the matter before the committee and maintained that no encroachment should be made on the plot until the matter is decided by the committee.

The meeting was attended by Senator Moula Bux Chandio, Senator Saifullah Abro, State Minister for Law and Justice, Senator Shahadat Awan, Senator Faisal SaleemRehman, Senator Fawzia Arshad, Leader of Opposition Senator DrShahzadWaseem, Senator Ejaz Chaudhary, Senator Danesh Kumar, Senator Dilawar Khan, Senator Kamil Ali Agha, Secretary for Ministry of Interior Yousuf Naseem Khokar, AIG Punjab Police Sahibzada Mohammad Shahzad Sultan, DIG Islamabad Police Sohail Zafar Chatha, DIG Sindh Police Tariq Abbas Qureshi, AIG KPK Police Dr Ishtiaq, and other concerned officers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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