The Senate Standing Committee on Interior in its meeting on Thursday, strongly condemned the ongoing longest curfew in Kashmir by Indian forces and the terrorist attack in a mosque in Quetta wherein 14 worshippers – including deputy superintendent of police Haji Amanullah were martyred while 21 others sustained injuries. Committee paid a rich tribute to martyred DSP Amanullah and prayed for those who lost their lives in the unfortunate blast in a mosque.
The meeting was chaired by Senator Abdul Rehman Malik and was attended by Senator Talha Mehmood, Senator Kulsoom Parveen, Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Senator Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo, Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen and Senator Shahzad Waseem. Senator Muhammad Azam Khan Swati Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Secretary Interior, Secretary Law and Justice and other senior officers from the Ministry for Interior, district Rawalpindi and ICT administration.
At the outset, Senator A. Rehman Malik strongly condemned the ongoing Indian forces brutalities in Indian Occupied Kashmir and the 164 days longest curfew in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. He said that the committee will continue to condemn the brutal curfew by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir and will express solidarity with people of Kashmir who are struggling for their legitimate right of self-determination under UNSC resolutions. He asked the government of Pakistan to expose the real cruel face of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi through diplomatic fronts by highlighting Indian army brutalities against unarmed oppressed Kashmiris. The committee highly commended the role of China in highlighting the Kashmir issue in UNSC meetings and thanked the Chinese government for their support on the Kashmir issue. Senator A. Rehman Malik said that we highly appreciate the statement of Chinese Ambassador in UN H.E Zhang Jun wherein he has stated that China regards Kashmir as a territory disputed between India and Pakistan and supports UN resolutions calling for the exercise by Kashmiri people of their right to self-determination through an UN-supervised plebiscite. He also welcomed and commended the support of the Russian deputy permanent representative in the UN.
Committee expressed deep sorrow over the deaths of more than 100 and damages of property caused by land sliding due to severe snowfall and heavy rain across the country. Senator A. Rehman Malik said that Azad Kashmir was the worst-hit area wherein 62 people killed. He asked the government to extend its full assistance to the local administration of the affected areas for rescue and relief operation and announce compensation for the affected families. While expressing his concerns on the bomb blast in Quetta, Senator A. Rehman Malik said that the new wave of terrorism is of high concern as terrorists mostly start their activities from Balochistan which spread across the country. He said that government and law enforcement agencies must remain at high alert and vigilant as inimical forces have always wanted to destabilize the peace of the country particularly Balochistan. He said that by terrorist activities, our enemies will never succeed in their nefarious aims against Pakistan. He directed that in the next meeting, the Chief Secretary Balochistan should brief the committee on the law and order situation in the province.
CONSIDERATION OF THE MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE (CRIMINAL MATTERS) BILL, 2020
Senate Standing Committee on Interior considered the Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) Bill, 2020 introduced by Senator Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs on behalf of Mr. Ijaz Ahmad Shah, Minister for Interior in the House on 10-01-2020Senator A. Rehman Malik said that he has thoroughly studied whole Bill and observed that a comprehensive report should be provided by the Ministry of Law & Justice. He expressed displeasure over the absence of Secretary Law and Justice and said that his presence while passing such an important bill was mandatory. He asked for the detail of all mutual legal treaties signed by Pakistan with various countries and said this is a general mutual assistance treaty being issued in terms of offering unsolicited help and support to another country. He said that what is the assurance if this Bill couldn’t be used by any friendly or hostile government to ask for relevant data or information about an individual including on the national security, if so, what safeguards are there to handle it? Chairman Committee asked whether it is a fact that through this Bill we are exposing our entire data to the world and we will have no reasonable excuse to refuse them. He said that it is pertinent to mention that when he was Minister for Interior, similar requests to provide data were received by the USA and some Arab countries which he had regretted in 2013. He asked could the government ensure not to provide national data i.e. NDRA and Travel data of Pakistan to any foreign country.
Senator A. Rehman Malik observed that it looks the same demand of the information which has been routed through this Bill, hence the initiator and drafter of the Bill need to explain as to how the personal data of Pakistanis and the national security will be protected where Pakistan has not yet enacted any law to safeguard the said data? He asked whether the extradition treaties signed by Pakistan with other countries will be affected or not by this Bill? He said that he fears that once the Bill is passed by the Parliament, FATF will open a Pandora box to extract data from Pakistan and any refusal will create a bone of contention and friction with the world forums. Owing to observations by the members, the Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator A. Rehman Malik deferred The Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) Bill, 2020 till tomorrow and summoned one-agenda meeting at 2 PM on it tomorrow on January 17, 2020, for thorough deliberation and consensus. He said that Pakistan is suffering because of FATF as it risks losing $ billions annually following FATF's Greylist. He said that we must prefer our national interest and must pass the Bill if it brings relief to the country in FATF. He said that FATF must consider Pakistan's countless sacrifices in war on terror and must not play in the hands of India. He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the chief of terrorist and money launderer adding that he has written a letter to FATF against Narendra Modi with all evidence for his involvement in money laundering but sadly FATF didn’t open a case against him.
DEMOLITION OF WALLS OF THE HOUSE OF SENATOR CH. TANVIR KHAN IN RAWALPINDI
Committee considered and discussed in detail the matter of demolition of walls of the house of Senator Ch. Tanvir Khan in Rawalpindi that was raised by Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi in the House on 06th January 2020 and the Chairman Senate had referred the matter to the Senate Standing Committee on Interior. Senator A. Rehman Malik said that soon the matter was brought in his notice, he sent a questionnaire containing 12 questions from the relevant departments and he was not satisfied by their reply. He said that the matter is of high importance where the wall of the house of a senator was demolished however he will ensure justice to all. He said that he has asked the following questions.
Senator A. Rehman Malik said that keeping in the view the legal aspects of the matter, it should be investigated thoroughly. He constituted a sub-committee to be headed by Senator Rana Maqbool with two members to thoroughly investigate the matter on merit and submit a comprehensive report with recommendations to the committee within two weeks. He directed the Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi and all concerned that all kinds of actions and operations should be stopped till the report of the sub-committee.