PPP raises voice against enforced disappearances
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Farhatullah Babar said in the Senate on Friday that the complicated issue of enforced disappearances could not be fixed without legislation to reign in the state intelligence agencies.
Senator Babar, raising a point of public importance, said that the Senate Human Rights Committee had, sometime back, proposed legislation, which was subsequently endorsed late last year by the Senate Committee of the Whole on speedy and inexpensive justice.
He explained that the draft legislation also provided for punishment for holding any accused in unlawful detention and without bringing the charges against them.
The Senate Committee of the Whole, he noted, had also decided that in case the government failed to bring up the proposed legislation to rein in the agencies within 60 days, then the Senate would adopt it as Private Member’s Bill with the support of leaders of parliamentary parties.
Since the 60-day period had expired, he urged Col (R) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, who was presiding over the session, to give a ruling to lay the bill as private members bill.
He also asked that the case of mysteriously disappeared JUI-F cleric from Attock and four other human rights activists, who recently disappeared in Badin, be referred to the Senate Committee on Human Rights, a suggestion, which Mashahdi accepted and referred the matter to the Senate Committee.
PPP Senator Babar demanded to hold a thorough probe into alleged nuclear proliferation from Pakistan to Libya and Iran, saying there was a racket involved as it could not be an individual act.
He said that former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf in his book “In the Line of Fire” had admitted that several tons of nuclear materials and drawings had been smuggled from Pakistan to Iran, Libya and North Korea. However, only one individual Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan was singled out for nuclear proliferation.
Babar noted that it was impossible for any one individual to smuggle out huge centrifuge machines and other nuclear materials without the connivance and assistance of many other players and called for an inquiry and beginning all those involved in proliferation to justice.
Earlier, speaking on a point of public importance, Senator Hafiz Hamudllah of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) strongly protested over mysterious disappearances of his party cleric Mufti Amir Zaman from Attock.
The JUI-F senator slammed the government for being silent in wake of attack on Khadija Siddiqui, a university girl from Lahore, who was stabbed 23 times by the son of an influential lawyer.
“Where does the state stand? No lawyer is ready to represent a poor girl, fearing the lawyers may beat them up and the judges are also scared of the lawyers,” he lamented.
Opposition leader in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan fully endorsed the JUI-F senator and said that he would try his level best to influence the bar as the poor girl must be given justice and whatever happened to her is not acceptable.
Senator Pervaiz Rashid of ruling PML-N also endorsed Senator Hamdullah, saying he fully supported all the points raised by fellow senator.
Meanwhile, the Compulsory Teaching of the Holy Quran Bill, 2017, aimed at making teaching of Holy Quran compulsory to the Muslim students in all educational institutions, was presented in the House.
The Post Office (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was also presented in the House. Both the bills were moved by the law and justice minister Zahid Hamid, which were then referred to concerned committees for further consideration. The Senate passed ‘The Illegal Dispossession (Amendment) Bill, 2017’. It was moved by state minister for interior Baleeghur Rehman. The session was prorogued sine die.