At the outset, Committee observed one minute silence on the murder of two sikh community members, who were gunned down in Peshawar on Sunday. Chairman Committee Senator Walid Iqbal stressed that such incidents will not be tolerated and the culprits must be taken to the task.
The Committee considered the matter of registration of FIRs against people involved in sloganeering against the Pakistani officials who were on pilgrimage in Masjid-i-Nabwi. Minister for Human Rights Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada apprised the committee that Islamabad High Court has pronounced its judgement and the matter does not need any further deliberations. Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented list of people arrested in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and apprised that counsellor access to said detainees is awaited. The Committee seconded the decision by the Islamabad High Court and condemned registration of fake FIR s in such sensitive matters which may expose and endanger lives of innocent people Senator Walid Iqbal with the consent of Committee members disposed of the issue.
Moreover, the Committee also considered "The Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals (Amendment) Bill introduced by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla in the Senate sitting held on 31st January,2022. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla apprised the committee that major purpose of this bill is to provide for a mechanism for protection of journalists and address their grievances. Establishment of Commission for protection of journalists in case of any breach of rights will be a major milestone. The Committee decided to hold extensive consultations with the stakeholders including PFUJ, RIUJ, NPC and others. Accordingly, consideration of the Bill was deferred till the next meeting.
The Committee also considered the matter of Pakistani citizens who are currently detained in Guantanomo Bay jail and directed the Ministry fo Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior to complete all procedural formalities as soon as possible to ensure the return of detainees who have been cleared by the US administration.
While discussing the matter of public importance regarding the killing of child named "Naveed Soomro" raised by Senator Saifullah Abro, DIG Sindh Police briefed the Committee that accused "Barkat" has confessed to his crime and has been consequently handed a life imprisonment by the Court. Accordingly, the Committee disposed off the matter.
The committee has also discussed the matter of Nazim Jokhio's murder. Senator Saifullah Abro, Mover, objected to non application of provisions of Anti-Terrirom Act on this heinous murder and also requested the Committee to give hearing the widow of the deceased. DIG Sindh Police apprised that the matter has been referred to the Anti Terrorism Court (ATC), however, decision as to the jusridcition of ATC is pending. The Committee decided to seek briefing from the Home Department, Sindh and Ministry of Interior on the policy/parameters as to application of ATA in heinous crimes and also directed the Ministry of Human rights to arrange virtual presence of widow of "Nazim Jokhio" in the next meeting.
Additionally, the committee also considered the issue of treatment of a child by K-electric. The child Master Omer was also present in the meeting alongwith the representatives of Disable Welfare Association. The Committee appreciated that substantial payments have been made by the K-electric till date, however, noted with concern that treatment of a child by K-electric. Spokesperson of K-electric told that the K-electric is putting all efforts to resolve the matter on priority, however, certain verification with regard to the company named "BIONIKS", which is specialised in prosthetics, are being made to ensure provision of quality prosthetics for Master Omer. Once verified, K-electric will pay for the expenses of Child's treatment. Chairman Committee directed the officials of K-electric to resolve the matter till 15 June, 2022.
The Meeting was attended by Senator Saifullah Abro, Senator Muhammad Tahir Bizinjo,Senator Gurdeep Singh, Senator Seemee Ezdi, Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem, Senator Falak Naz, Senator Keshoo Bai,Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada Minister for Human Rights, Chairperson NCHR,and other Senior Officers of Ministry of Human Rights, Punjab Police,Sindh,Sindh Police and K-Electric as well.