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Event Title: Senate Standing Committee on Interior

Event Date: 2019-12-23

Senate Standing Committee on Interior in its meeting strongly condemned the recent discriminatory legislation “The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019” passed by India and the 140th day long curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Abdur Rehman Malik here at the Parliament House on Monday and was attended among others by Senators Farooq H Naek, Javed Abbasi, Mian Ateeq Sheikh, Sardar Shafiq Tareen, Dr. Shehzad Waseem, as Members and Molana Atta-ur-Rehman as special invitee, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Senator Azam Swati, senior officers form the Ministry of Interior, CDA, MCI, FIA, Punjab Police and other departments.

On the outset of the meeting, Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik congratulated the new Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed on his post. The committee expressed that Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed has tremendous abilities to prove himself worthy of the confidence being reposed in him by the nation. 

While observing the 140th Day of curfew, Senator Rehman Malik said that this committee will continue to condemn Indian brutalities and urge the Government to move in International Court of Justice against PM Narendra Modi for his crimes against humanity. He said that Indian government by one after another action is sidelining the Muslims and other minorities to convert India into a Hindu State alone. He informed the committee that he has written a letter to the editor in chief of the Guinness World Records to include the longest curfew imposed by Indian government in Kashmir in the Guinness book. He said that today is the 140th day of persistent and the longest curfew ever imposed in the history of the world. The committee also condemned the recent discriminatory legislation carried out in India and Fateh was offered for the martyrs of Kashmir and those who were killed during protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act-2019.

The National Counter Terrorism Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2019 moved by Senator Ateeq Shakir however the Bill was withdrawn by the mover.

The FIA briefed the Committee on the status of inquiries underway at FIA against officers and officials of CDA involved in corruption and irregularities. The Committee was informed that a total number of 57 inquiries are underway. Senator A. Rehman Malik directed the FIA to come up with complete statistics of all such cases in the next meeting of the Committee.

The Committee was also briefed by CDA and MCI regarding approval of MCI for restoration of kiosks/cabins at various locations in Islamabad and issuance of restoration letters accordingly. The Committee had a considered view that by the demolishing of Kiosks/Cabins, a large number of people have become unemployed and jobless in Islamabad. The Committee observed that the matter is due to absence of proper rules and mismanagement rather than the mere presence. Chairman CDA informed that some specific locations have been identified for kiosks so that they are not scattered all across the city. Senator A. Rehman Malik, Chairman Committee directed the CDA and MCI to bring the proper rules and regulations for the allotment and construction of kiosks /cabins in Islamabad. He directed that CDA to provide the Committee the details of a uniform design and size of kiosks/cabins, specific locations and fixing of reasonable fee. The Chairman Committee also directed that genuine licenses should be restored and they should be given priority in the proposed allotment for kiosks/cabins and the particulars of those previous legal allottees should be provided to the Committee.  

While discussing the reasons for the delay in operationalizing the Islamabad Citizens Club, the Committee directed that the required funds should be released to MCI soon so that the Islamabad Citizens Club could be made functional effectively. The Chairman Committee assigned Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh and Senator Mohammad Azam Khan Swati to solve this long standing issue of the non-functioning of Islamabad Citizens Club.

Senator A. Rehman Malik had taken a suo-moto notice on non-payment of salaries to sanitary workers of MCI. He expressed his annoyance over it and directed the CDA and MCI to make immediate arrangements by today for payment of their salaries before Christmas. The Chairman CDA assured him compliance of the directions of the Chairman Committee.

The Committee was briefed by Punjab Police regarding abduction and killing of four children in Chunian, Kasur. The four children were kidnapped in June, August and September in an area of 5 kilometers. A JIT was formed under RPO Sheikhupura and since the incidents 80 more children have been recovered from different places in Kasur. DPO Kasur told the Committee that a comprehensive security plan was issued with stop and search plans and active intelligence work. Search operations, DNA profiling, forensic examination, crime analysis were carried out.7 special teams were constituted. 2649 people were interrogated for DNA, 47 were interrogated as prime suspects, and data of 904 rickshaw drivers was collected and then shortlisted to 48 for DNA sampling. 40 people with criminal record were shortlisted, 6545 coordinates were selected from the vicinity for geo fencing, and 4684 houses were checked. The accused Sohail Shahzada was arrested on 1st October and he had also remained a victim in past. Trial commenced on 25th November. He has been sentenced to death 3 times.

The Committee appreciated the swift work done by the Punjab Police and also appreciated the proposals shared for more proactive and timely investigation in future. The Chairman Committee directed the Ministry of Interior to send recommendations for giving the awards and cash prizes to the officials of Punjab Police for their excellent and committed professional performance in the case to trace out the culprits.

The Chairman Committee expressed his deep concerns over the alarming increase in the child abuses incidents, across the country. He directed the Interior secretary to bring amendments in the relevant sections of law of evidence and investigation based on modern technologies and suggesting more stringent punishment for those who commit such heinous crimes. Senator Javed Abbasi was of the view that there is dire need to bring awareness among the children by including contents regarding child abuse in the syllabus all over the country.

The Committee decided to take an in-camera briefing on what are the demands from Pakistan and what is Pakistan is doing to fulfill them in relation to grey list of FATF in the second week of January.