Event Title: Senator Mohsin Aziz, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior presiding over a Meeting of The Committee at Parliament House
Event Date: 2024-01-05
A Meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Interior was held at Parliament House on Friday with Senator Mohsin Aziz in Chair. The Senate Committee deliberated on the Bill titled "The Cutting of Trees (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2023." Senator Palwasha Muhammad Zai Khan, the bill's mover, stated that the aim of the bill is to protect the environment of the city, given the country's current climate crisis. She emphasized that the bill serves as an epitome for the provinces. She added that centuries-old trees have been cut down to meet the housing needs of the city, and such practices should be stopped once and for all. Officials informed the committee that certain provisions in the CDA exclusively deal with the protection of trees, and the CDA is also empowered to impose fines on wrongdoers. The committee deferred the deliberations on the bill until the next meeting.
Furthermore, the committee discussed the Bill titled "The Rehriban (Street Vendors) Livelihood Protection Bill, 2023." Senator Sania Nishtar, the bill's mover, explained that there are approximately one million street vendors in the country, generating Rs. 900 Billion in annual sales. Unfortunately, there is no legal framework in place to regulate these street vendors. She stated that the purpose of the bill is to protect street vendors from the vandalism of municipal staff and shopkeepers and to provide a secure livelihood for street vendors. Officials apprised the committee that the bill is in conflict with the Local Government Act, and certain bylaws are already in place for the regulation of street vendors. The committee deferred the deliberations on the bill until the next meeting.
Moreover, the Senate body deliberated on the Bill titled "The National Database and Registration Authority Bill, 2023." Senator Fawzia Arshad, the bill's mover, stated that the primary objective of the bill is to make it mandatory for NADRA to provide registration facilitation to persons with disabilities, prisoners, transgender persons, and religious minorities. She maintained that the dynamics of national identification have rapidly changed during the past decade, and it is essential to conform the NADRA ordinance to the present time. Moreover, NADRA officials apprised the committee that the NADRA ordinance makes it mandatory for every citizen to register themselves with NADRA, and refusal to do so is an offense. The committee deferred the deliberations on the bill until the next meeting.
Additionally, the committee was briefed by the FIA and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on actions against the menace of the growing exposure of children to online pornography. Officials apprised the committee that a specialized unit named the "Unit to Counter Online Child Abuse" has been dedicated to countering child abuse. Moreover, a total of 184 FIRs have been registered on child pornography in the last two years, and 225 offenders have been arrested. Currently, the conviction rate in child pornography cases stands at 27 percent. Senator Mohsin Aziz commented that there is a dire need to enhance the conviction rate in child abuse cases, with a special focus on raising awareness against this menace. The committee also recommended that websites containing questionable material should be banned, as the internet has adverse effects on the younger generation.
In attendance were Senator Samina Mumtaz Zehri,Senator Saifullah Abro,Senator Shahadat Awan,Senator Fawzia Arshad,Senator Dilawar Khan,Senator Sania Nishtar,Senator Palwasha Muhammad Zia Khan,Secretary Interior Ministry Aftab Khalid Durrani,Chairman NADRA Lieutenant General Muhammad Munir Afsar, Chairman CDA Capt(R) Anwar ul Haq,Chairman PTA Maj.General (R) Hafeezur Rehman and other senior officials of relevant departments were also in attendance.