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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Interior, on Friday, recommended imposing a ban on websites carrying pornographic content as it has negative effects on the youth.

The committee which met with Senator Mohsin Aziz in the chair recommended that websites containing questionable material should be banned, as it has adverse effects on the younger generation. The officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) officials while briefing the committee said that a specialised unit named the “Unit to Counter Online Child Abuse” has been dedicated to countering child abuse.

They said that over 184 First Information Reports (FIR) have been registered on child pornography in the last two years, and 225 suspects have been arrested.

The committee chairman said that effective measures should be made to raise the conviction rate in child abuse cases.

The meeting also discussed the Cutting of Trees (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2023, moved by Senator Palwasha Muhammad Zai Khan.

She while briefing the committee said that the aim of the bill is to protect the environment of the city, given the country’s current climate crisis.

Centuries-old trees have been cut down to meet the housing needs of the city, and such practices should be stopped once and for all, she said.

The officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) told the committee that certain provisions in the CDA exclusively deal with the protection of trees, and the CDA is also empowered to impose fines on wrongdoers.

The committee deferred the bill until the next meeting. Furthermore, the committee discussed the bill titled, “The Rehriban (Street Vendors) Livelihood Protection Bill, 2023” moved by Senator Sania Nishtar, the bill’s mover, explained that there are approximately one million street vendors in the country, generating Rs900 billion in annual sales.

He said that there is no legal framework in place to regulate these street vendors. The purpose of the bill is to protect street vendors from the vandalism of municipal staff and shopkeepers and to provide a secure livelihood for street vendors, he said.

Officials apprised the committee that the bill is in conflict with the local government act, and certain bylaws are already in place for the regulation of street vendors.

Senators Samina Mumtaz Zehri, Saifullah Abro, Shahadat Awan, Fawzia Arshad, Dilawar Khan, Sania Nishtar, and Palwasha Muhammad Zia Khan and Secretary Interior Ministry Aftab Khalid Durrani attended the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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