ISLAMABAD, March 7, 2014: The Senate witnessed introduction of two bills seeking amendment to the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997 during eighth sitting of its 102nd session on Friday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet based on direct observation of the proceedings.
State Minister for Interior introduced the bills which were referred to the relevant committees. These include the Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and Anti-terrorism (Second Amendment) Bill, 2014.
Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2014 recommends more legislative measures to enhance the effectiveness of law enforcing agencies in tackling heinous crime, especially conferring powers of investigation on Rangers, providing legal cover to Joint Investigation Team, enabling police to become complainants in extortion cases and special provisions for protection of witnesses (faceless) through video recording.
Anti-Terrorism (Second Amendment) Bill, 2014 aims at addressing shortcoming on terrorism financing in the anti-terrorism Act, 1997. It strengthens provisions relating to the offence of terrorism financing that cover all aspects of the offence at par with international standards and provides for effective measure for law enforcement agencies to investigate such offences.
Sponsored by female Senator of ANP, the House took up a calling attention notice (CAN) regarding anti women practices and victimization of young girls and women by Jirgas for the acts committed by their men folk.
To commemorate the 104th anniversary of the International Women’s Day being celebrated on 8th of March, a PML female legislator moved a resolution which was adopted by the House unanimously.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for an hour and 43 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1100 hours against the scheduled time of 1030 hours with a delay of 30 minutes.
- The Chairman presided over the entire sitting.
- Fifteen senators were present at the outset while 39 were there at the adjournment. A maximum of 46 members were observed to be present at a point during the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, MQM, PkMAP, PML-N and ANP attended the proceedings.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for an hour and 28 minutes.
- Three minority members attended the sitting.
- Six members applied for leave.
- State Minister for Interior introduced the Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and Anti-terrorism (Second Amendment) Bill, 2014. Both were referred to relevant committees.
- Female legislator of PML moved a resolution to commemorate the 104th anniversary of the International Women’s Day being celebrated on 8th of March to acknowledge the role of women parliamentarians. The House adopted the resolution unanimously.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Sponsored by PPPP Senator, the House took up CAN regarding anti women practices and victimization of young girls and women by Jirgas for the acts committed by their men folk. Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights responded to it.
- Thirteen out of 25 starred questions (requiring oral as well as written answers) on the agenda were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministries. Additionally, 35 supplementary questions were asked.
Order and Institutionalization
- Lawmakers spoke on twelve points of order for sixteen minutes.
- ANP Senator walked out of the session for three minutes over his reservations for not getting opportunity to raise supplementary question.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on senators’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of FAFEN and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. This Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization; a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions excepted.
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