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Event Title: Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights

Event Date: 2019-04-01

Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights in its meeting was told by Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) that only 41 companies are non-compliant as of today to the condition of having at least one female board member. The Committee was told that code was made in 2017 and was made effective in 2018 but some companies had already held their elections and breaking a board and going for a new election is a long exercise. The companies, in this regard, were given an exemption till the new election of board when they will ensure compliance of the code of having at least one female board member. The Committee was told that the non-compliant companies only constitute 8% of the total number of companies registered with SECP and the percentage of compliance which is at 46% today, will reach 93% by end of 2020.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini here at the Parliament House on Monday and was attended among others by Senators Hidayatullah, Usman Khan Kakar, Dr. Mehr Taj Roughani, Keshoo Bai, Sana Jamali, Kamran Micheal, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Secretary Information and Broadcasting, Managing Director PTV, Senior Joint Secretary Finance, Joint Secretary Interior, Director General Ministry of Human Rights, DIG Hazara Division, DPO Abottabad, and officials from relevant departments.

The Committee discussed at length the matter of killing of Muhammad Afzal Kohistani in Abottabad on 6th March. It may be noted that this incident is an offshoot of the incident of killing of four girls in Kohistan who were murdered after their video of singing and clapping went viral on internet and three brothers of Afzal Kohistani have also been murdered earlier. The Committee heard DIG Hazara Division Muhammad Ali Babakhel, Human Rights Activist Dr. Farzana Bari and brother (Bin Yasir) and uncle (Gul Nazar) of the murdered man. The Committee expressed extreme shock at the fact that even after passage of seven years the culprits have not been punished and the vulnerable have not been provided security. The Committee was told by DIG Hazara that Afzal Kohistani was travelling with his nephew Faiz ur Rehman when he was killed and the evidence has shown that the nephew is involved in the murder. The brother of the murdered man, however, rejected this claim. The Committee has recommended that the case should be heard in Anti-Terrorism Court, a JIT should be formed and the relatives of the murdered man should be provided with adequate security to avoid any potential loss or danger.

The Committee also discussed the matter of non-payment of salaries and pensions to PTV employees. The Committee was told that there is no delay in payment of pensions and salaries but in payment of commutation fund. PTV is currently in a loss of 5.8 billion and is in dire need of a proper and effective business plan which will be shared with the Ministry of Finance to resolve the administrative and financial issues.