The Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Thursday Passed the Criminal Law (Amendment )Bill, 2022 unanimously after adopting new recommendations as discussed in the meeting. The Bill was passed by National Assembly and transmitted to the Senate and laid in the Senate by Senator Rubina Khalid. The objective of the bill is to take cognizance of the rise in the cases of sexual exploitation and cybercrime against children in the light of the constitutional and international commitments of the Government of Pakistan. The Bill was passed unanimously with punishment on child pornography not less than 3 years and up to fourteen years as per the severity of the offence.
The committee deferred the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2022 introduced by Senator Seemee Ezdi. The committee after due deliberation noted that the obtaining of certificate of fitness on motor vehicles of all kinds and the conditions therein the bill, will bring the traffic on a total halt therefore the committee decided that the Ministry should make a way forward and more practical ways should be devised for test of satisfactory condition of vehicles. The Discussion on the bill was deferred with the observation that if the ministry is able to find an appropriate way forward, the bill may be withdrawn.
Discussion on the Bill further to amend the Islamabad Capital Territory Waqf properties Act, 2020 The ICT Waqf properties Amendment) Bill 2021 introduced by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed was also deferred. The committee also decided to refer the matter to the Council of Islamic Ideology and take its stance on various definitions and concept behind the waqf property. The matter was discussed at length and it was observed that a declared waqf property cannot be sold. The ministry believed that the amendments in Bill would tightened the law and would not allow necessary steps to be taken time by time , whereas Mustaq Ahmed was of the view that the present law of the waqf properties is being misused and the real purpose of the wakf property and the intender is curtailed . The committee also argued that the main wakt property should not be used for any alternative purpose except the designated purpose. However it was also argued that if the federal government allows, the wakq property can be sold and used for other purposes. Senator Mushtaq Ahmed maintained that the bill will protect the sanctity and integrity of the wakf property which should not be used for any purpose leading to humility of masajids or otherwise be used for party politics. Mustaq Ahmed said that certain amendment in various sections of the said act are proposed to bring meaningful and substantial changes in the provisions of the act and make the management and administration more proper and efficient. The matter was deferred for further deliberation.
Matter pertaining to starred question no 46 asked by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed regarding closure of crossing points at lower Dir and Bajur including Ghulam Khan in North Wazirstan at Pak-Afghan Border for transportation between two countries was also taken up. The matter does not relate to the Interior committee therefore the Chairman Committee remitted the matter back to the secretariat to further refer it to the Commerce and Finance committee.
The matter of point of public importance raised by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed regarding worsening law and order situation in Swat was also taken up. The National Counter Terrorism Authority Islamabad briefed the committee that US withdrawal gave impetus to TTP activities with its base intact in Afghanistan. Overrise in terrorism index was being witnessed. The committee was briefed that the TTP, during peace talks process gained considerable ground; increased its footprint and magnitude of activities. It was also briefed that strong protest by masses of the society return in Swat is a positive development. The locals especially the political leadership active against the militants needs to be supported and protected through institutional mechanism. It was briefed that the traditional routes of the militants have also been tracked and cleared and 18 extra police forces are being deployed. Peace jeep rallies are also patrolled in the area, These measurements has increased the flow of tourist.
The committee was also briefed that that militants are dispersed due to collective operation of SFS/LEAS Any morphing in local population in adjoining areas needs to be monitored, furthermore, presence of militants signifies resident facilitation in the area which need to be countered through collective efforts of security apparatus.it was also discussed that owing to winters and lack of support structure/logistics, militants are likely to move from mountainous regions. The committee advised that further discussion on specific areas in terms of security should be discussed during in camera sessions.
The meeting was attended by Senator Rubina Khalid, Moula Bux Chandio, Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Faisal Saleem Rehman , Kamil Ali Agha, Seemee Ezdi and Senator Dilawar Khan. Secretary Ministry Interior and other senior relevant officers were also in attendance