250th session: Human rights issues echo in Senate
ISLAMABAD: The issue of human rights weighed down heavily at the 250th session of the Senate before it was prorogued on Friday. Lawmakers belonging to the treasury and the opposition benches unanimously debated the issues pertaining to the violation of individual rights in the country.
Members of the Senate condemned the extra-judicial killings of Kashmiris by the Indian forces, as observed by the Free and Fair Election Network.
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The senators urged international rights groups, the United Nations, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take notice of the atrocities committed by the Indian forces.
They demanded that the international community take appropriate measures to stop the barbaric acts against the unarmed Kashmiri men and women.
The Upper House, in an adjournment motion took up the recent Indian crimes against humanity in occupied Kashmir and condemned the violations committed by Indian forces.
Protection of women
Honour killing was another burning human rights issue debated by the senators during the session. Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan discussed the issue on a point of public importance. He raised the incident of the burning of a woman alive in Swat by a jirga and the murder of social media starlet Qandeel Baloch.
The leader of the opposition suggested amending the relevant laws to make the state a party in cases of honour killings. In his speech he brought up the Anti-Honour Killing Bill, tabled by former senator Sughra Imam. Ahsan appealed to the government to get the bill passed during the joint session of parliament in order to better deal with this crime.
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Meanwhile, Senator Sitara Ayaz of ANP also spoke on a point of public importance regarding status of women in society and honour killing.
Law and order
Senator Farhatullah Babar of the PPP raised the Okara farmland issue and cases of terrorism against tenant farmers.
Meanwhile, MQM’s Senator Col (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi expressed his views on the role of the federal law-enforcing agencies. The MQM senator said that the rights of citizens should not be violated by the guardians of the law.
Senator Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel, through a point of public importance, raised the issue of certain anomalies in the juvenile justice system. The Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party senator called for bringing about reforms in the current system so that justice could be served to the juvenile prisoners.
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The House also discussed a motion submitted by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed regarding existing laws and policies relating to marginalised segments of society.
Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani proposed to constitute a special committee to review the laws and policies regarding marginalised segments of society.