Islamabad: Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Rehman Malik this week thanked the Chinese government for donating 500,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine to Pakistan and urged the government to ensure that vaccines are made available free for the whole population.
Chairing the meeting, he said mere 500,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine are not the ultimate solution of the deadly pandemic. He urged the government to establish vaccine centers in every province.
He said coordination between federal and provinces should be increased to combat COVID-19 effectively. He said Pakistan should make its own anti COVID-19 vaccine.
Leader of the House in Senate Dr Shahzad Waseem assured the committee that the government had formulated a plan to ensure that every citizen regardless social stature, has access to the vaccine.
Rehman Malik while welcoming the members and the other participants of the meeting, strongly condemned the Indian atrocities in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIJOK).
He said the siege in Kashmir has entered its 547th day and stressed that the government should further raise this issue very strongly at all international forums including United Nations (UN).
He said since the day one, this committee has been marking these days as ‘Dark Days’ in the history of mankind and expressing solidarity with Kashmiri brothers and sisters who are struggling for their legitimate right of self-determination under the UN Security Council resolutions.
He said the government must present the Disinfolab EU Report to FATF in the session scheduled to take place virtually from February 22 to 25 as the report is composed of Indian malicious and fake propaganda against Pakistan.
He said keeping in view the Indian chronicles exposed by DisinfoLab EU, “We hope that FATF would delist Pakistan from its grey list and no politically motivated decision would be taken by the FATF this time.”
He said the restrictions imposed because of FATA grey list hurting country’s economy. The committee urged Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to either permanently remove the name of Pakistan from the grey list or extend further grace period in wake of coronavirus outbreak.
The committee considered multiple bills referred by the house. While taking up the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 [Section 376, Act XLV of 1860]” introduced by Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Rehman Malik was of the view that strong legislation suggesting stringent punishment must be formulated to deal with the ever growing cases child abuse across the country.
The bill after through consideration and discussion was passed with majority vote however Dr Shehzad Waseem opposed it and showed reservations over it.
After passing of the bill, Rehman Malik asserted that this bill has been passed according to the rules of the committee and he also directed that the ordinance which has already been notified by the government should also be clubbed with the bill during the stage of its consideration.
He said stringent measures such as recommended in the bill are the need of the hour to be taken against those who commit such heinous crimes.
The committee also considered and passed the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2020 introduced by Abbasi.
The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 [Section 297A, Act XLV of 1860] introduced by Abbasi was discussed in detail.
The Fatal Accidents (Amendment) Bill, 2020 introduced by Abbasi was also considered and passed.
Rehman Malik said these amendments seek to ensure speedy justice and enable legal heirs of the victims to compensation in case of death in fatal accidents in the Islamabad Capital Territory.
The Pakistan Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2021 introduced by Mirza Muhammad Afridi and Kauda Babar, The Islamabad Capital Territory Trust (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2020 introduced by Mushtaq Ahmed were deferred due to the absence of the movers.
The committee also expressed grave concerns over the increasing cases of drug abuse within the country especially in educational institutions.
Rehman Malik asserted that the committee must play its due role in curbing this menace. He advised Abbasi on behalf of the committee to work towards this end and bring some legislation on it.
The meeting was attended by Leader of the House Senator Dr Shahzad Waseem, senators Nusrat Shaheen, Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Muhammad Ali Saif, Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Nusrat Shaheen and senior officers from the Ministry of Interior, Law Division, FIA, Police and Motorway Police along with all concerned.