ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of the Parliament on Monday passed a resolution unanimously recommending government to revisit the Official Secrets Act, 1923 and to make suitable amendments to ensure right to information, fair trial and fundamental rights.
Moving the resolution in the House, Pakistan People Party (PPP) Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the Official Secrets Act 1923 was an outdated law and it must be amended as now under Article 19-A, access to information was a fundamental right of every citizen.
He was of the views that under the current act, even no document or information could be shared with this august House if any section officer tagged it classified and secret.
Farhatullah Babar said that it was 80 years old British Colonial Act and this act was also amended in India. He said that Article 19-A also provides guarantee to access to information to all citizen.
He urged the government to adopt the resolution unanimously and must revisit it thoroughly.
Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq also endorsed Farhatullah Babar’s views and said that it was a very strict act and the British Regime enforced it as they used to only rely on their own people in the Sub-continent.
He was of the views that the act should be revisited and all ambiguities must also be removed.
The House also passed the resolution moved by Col (R) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi unanimously urging the government to take effective steps for narcotics control in the country.
Moving the resolution, Tahir Hussain said that drug trade had become a very lucrative business in the world. He was of the views that drug was not only damaging our society but also the coming generation.
He urged the government to take pragmatic steps to curb the drug mafia who was a very powerful.
Responding to the resolution, State Minister for Interior Baleeghur Rehman said the UN had declared Pakistan a poppy free country for the past three years.
He said that no doubt, it was a serious issue and the government was taking all out efforts to curb the menace.
He said that Anti-Narcotic Force (ANF) has over 2500 personnel and seized largest quantity of narcotics during 2013.
Meanwhile, the Chairman Senate deferred the resolution of Karim Ahmed Khawaja on the request of leader of the opposition Aitzaz Ahsan.
He was of the views that Charter of Democracy (CoD) was only between the PPP and PML-N and the other political parties should also be taken on board.
He said that more time should be given to government to reach at consensus with other political parties on setting up constitutional court in the country.
Earlier, PPP lawmaker Karim Ahmed Khawaja moved the resolution, the this house recommends that CoD between Benazir Shaheed and Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif be implemented especially Constitutional Court with equal number of judges from all provinces may be established to decide the constitutional matters.