Event Title: The Senate Standing Committee on Interior
Event Date: 2019-11-21
The Senate Standing Committee on Interior in its meeting on Thursday, unanimously adopted a resolution strongly condemning the highly unethical, immoral and inhumane statement of a senior retired Indian Army officer and leader of BJP Maj General SP Sinha in which he has justified the rapes of Kashmiris women in IOK.
The meeting was chaired by Senator Abdul Rehman Malik and was attended by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Senator Kulsoom Parveen, Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Senator Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen and Senator Shahzad Waseem as members and Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi as mover and Senator Rubina Khalid as special invitee. Secretary Interior, Chairman PTA, DG FIA, DG Passport and Immigration, DG Bauru of Emigration and Overseas Employment, Chairman CDA and other senior officers from the Ministry for Interior, Parliamentary Affairs and Ministry of Law and Justice.
At the outset, Senator A. Rehman Malik strongly condemned the ongoing Indian forces brutalities in Indian Occupied Kashmir and the 108 days longest curfew in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. The committee strongly condemned the highly unethical, immoral and inhumane continued statements of the senior civil and military leadership about the people of Kashmir particular women. Senator Rehman Malik moved a Resolution as under, which was unanimously passed by the Committee:-
“The Senate Standing Committee on Interior strongly condemns the highly unethical, immoral and inhumane continued statements of senior Indian leadership and a recent statement of Indian Army officer Maj. (R) Gen SP Sinha who is an active member and leader of the Indian ruling party BJP, in which he has justified the rape of Muslim Kashmiri women by the Indian troops, which is a tragedy of this century and a big black mark on the face of the so called Indian Secular State. The Committee unanimously demands that the Government of Pakistan should take up the matter with UNSC and register a protest in UNSC against the highly immoral statement of Maj. (R) Gen SP Sinha. The Government of Pakistan should continue its efforts to seize such activities and to expose this mindset of Indian government under PM Narendra Modi against Kashmiris.’’
Senator A. Rehman Malik said that such statements by Indian leadership show the absolute moral bankruptcy and the United Nations and human rights organizations must take serious notice of the situation in Kashmir. He informed the committee that he has written a letter to the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wherein he has urged him to file a law suit in International Court of Justice (ICJ) and International Criminal Court (ICC) under Rome Statute against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his accomplices for their crimes against humanity and genocide in Indian occupied Kashmir. He said that he advises the government to follow the precedent set by Gambian Minister of Justice and Attorney General Mr Abubacarr Marie Tambadou who picked the courage and presented the case of Rohingyan massacre before the ICJ. He said if a small country Gambia can stand for Rohingyan Muslims why can’t Pakistan go for oppressed Kashmiris in ICJ and ICC. He said that he has been emphasizing time and again particularly after August 5th, 2019 and today once again from this forum that the government should drag PM Modi in international courts for his unprecedented atrocities and human rights violation against oppressed Kashmiris. He paid tribute and appreciated the Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sinjrani for his countless efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue at different national and international forums.
SUO-MOTO NOTICE ON SEXUAL ASSAULT AND MURDER OF A MINOR GIRL IN KURRAM
Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior ttok a very serious suo-moto notice on alleged sexual assault and murder of a five years old girl Gul Sakina in Pewar area of District Kurram Agency, who was allegedly sexually assaulted and found dead in a water pond nearby. He directed the Interior Secretary, IG Police and Home Secretary KPK to take immediate action to trace out the culprits and the motives behind this gruesome incident and submit a detailed report within a week. He directed the Secretary Interior to extend his fullest cooperation to the KPK in conducting DNA tests. The committee expressed its dismay over the alarming increase in the child abuses incidents, across the country. Chairman committee directed the Interior secretary to bring a law suggesting more stringent punishment for those who commit such heinous crimes.
CONSIDERATION OF “THE PAKISTAN PENAL CODE (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2019:
The Committee considered “The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (Ordinance No. VI) moved by Senator Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs on behalf of Mr. Ijaz Ahmad Shah, Minister for Interior in the House on 3rd September, 2019. The Ministry of Interior briefed the Committee on the purposes and objectives of the Bill. However, the Committee expressed its concern on the applicability of the Bill saying that there was sufficient ambiguity on the manner for implementation of the proposed law. Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik observed that this might cause a discrimination while dealing with different individuals with same crime, one being in the country and other being extradited from abroad. After thorough deliberation on the Bill the Chairman directed that the Secretary Law and Justice and Attorney General should brief the Committee on the Bill in its next meeting so that the reservations could be addressed properly. The consideration of the Bill was deferred till next meeting of the Committee.
CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL “THE NATIONAL COUNTER TERRORISM AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2019:
Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh briefed the Committee that National Counter Terrorism Authority is mandated to devise a counter terrorism strategy that should address short, medium and long-term goals and devise action plans for their implementation. Keeping in view of the current national, regional and international scenario this of National Counter Terrorism Authority is gaining wider significance. Countering terrorism is a huge task which involves multi actors at local, provincial and national levels. Besides Government, Parliament’s role as an active participant in national counter terrorism strategy is becoming more inclusive and effective. Therefore, NACTA should lay its periodical reports in the Parliament so that our public representative may also oversee the reviews and reports of NACTA and formulate pragmatic proposals for the Government. NACTA should coordinate with all provincial departments in countering terrorism departments. The Police stations which are the basic unit of law enforcement in Pakistan should be given the mission and resources to combat terrorism starting from local level. . The Committee discussed the proposed Bill in detail and discussed different aspects of the proposed legislation however; the Ministry of Interior opposed the amendments to be made in the NACTA Act, 2013. The Chairman Committee appointed Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi to look into the proposed amendments presented by Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh and present his suggestions in the next meeting of the Committee.
CONSIDERATION OF “THE ISLAMABAD PURE FOOD AUTHORITY BILL, 2019”:
The Committee also considered “The Islamabad Pure Food Authority Bill, 2019” introduced by Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi in the House on 02-09-2019, however the Bill was deferred on the request of the Mover.
BRIEF BY THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR ON THE ECL POLICY
The Committee was briefed by the Ministry of Interior on the ECL Policy of the Government and the implementation status on the recommendations made by Senate Standing Committee on Interior in its meeting dated 22nd October, 2018. The Ministry informed the Committee that the recommendations of the Committee are already under consideration to be implemented. The Chairman Committee directed that a detailed report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee made in its earlier meeting held on 22nd October, 2018 should be presented in the next meeting of the Committee.
BRIEFING BY D.G., IMMIGRATION AND PASSPORTS:
The Director General, Immigration and Passports briefed the Committee in detail on the Policy for issuance of passports with particular reference to different categories of the Official / Gratis Passports. The Chairman Committee directed that the overall procedure be reviewed and a uniform policy should be adopted for all government officers of BS-19 and above working in Ministries, Divisions, National Assembly and Senate Secretariat etc. It was proposed that the duration of validity for passports should be 03 years atleast.
BRIEFING BY FIA ON ILLEGAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND EMIGRATION:
The Committee was also briefed by the FIA on illegal emigration, human trafficking, corruption in OEC and offices of the Protector of Emigrants in Rawalpindi , Multan, Lahore, Mardan with reference to the Suo Moto taken by Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior dated 7th November,2019. Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik was of the view that currently human trafficking is a huge menace that needs to be curbed. He said that it was important to rescue 7000 destitutes who were trapped in Turkey. He directed that stringent actions should be taken against the illegal human traffickers who are not only putting the lives of many innocents in danger but also brining a bad name to the country. He also directed that officials from NADRA and Passport be sent to the respective countries for the data and documentation of destitutes that could be bring back to Pakistan safely. The FIA assured the Committee that they are doing their best to bring back all illegal immigrants detained at various ports. The FIA is also in the process of intelligence sharing to curb human trafficking and illegal emigration. Chairman Committee, Senator A. Rehman Malik directed the FIA to conduct a survey on all illegal operators across the country to bring them to the justice. He directed the Ministry of Interior to provide additional budget to FIA to equip it with modern technology for effective border management system.
CONSIDERATION OF SHARING OF IMMORAL CONTENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
The Committee also considered the Suo Moto Notice taken by Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior regarding “showing derogatory, immoral and defamatory contents and vulgar video clips through Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Tiktok and YouTube on social media. The Committee also took strict notice of defamation campaigns being run on social media against some senators and directed FIA to seek out the source and ensure conviction. Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik said that he has come to know that it has become an increasing trend that some irresponsible people are releasing derogatory, immoral, defamatory and indecent contents through Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Tiktok and Youtube on social media which might play havoc with texture of the society in general and destroy our youth in particular. He directed the FIA and PTA to take immediate action against those account holders who are releasing such immoral, objectionable, derogatory, indecent and defamatory contents on social media under Cyber Crimes Act. He directed that the FIA should implement the Cyber Crimes Act in letter and spirit to bring the culprits to justice.