Steps being taken to strengthen border security, NA told


ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Tuesday that the government under the purview of Ministry of Interior is taking a number of steps to strengthen border security.

Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Maryam Aurangzeb told the House that permit system for border crossing is being integrated with the NADRA database.

She pointed out that a summary has been sent to the President for approval under which Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) rules will be applicable on border movement. She said blockage of CNICs issued to foreigners is also a step towards border security.

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Naeema Kishwar Khan and others regarding postponement of census and non-inclusion of column of disabled persons in the census form, Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan told the House that population and house census has been delayed with consent of the provinces due to non-availability of armed forces personnel.

RESOLUTIONS

The National Assembly adopted a resolution calling upon the government to take steps to declare Holi, Dewali and Easter as closed holidays for minorities. The resolution was moved by Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani.

Speaking on the resolution, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said that public holidays are higher in Pakistan when compared with any other country of world, therefore, there is need to revisit the number of holidays.

He said he has no objections over the holidays on the religious festivals of minorities. He said no discrimination is being meted out to the followers of different faiths and added that the people share their grief and happiness regardless of the religion they are practicing.

The House also passed a resolution saying the government should take steps to formulate Umrah Policy to facilitate people, especially in the month of Ramazan and control exploitation by private operators. It was moved by Muhammad Muzammil Qureshi.

Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf told the House that the government is already working to formulate Umrah Policy to facilitate the people.

The House passed another resolution urging the government to take effective steps to strengthen Pakistan-Afghanistan border security. It was moved by Murad Saeed.

Speaking on the resolution, the members were of the opinion that strengthening of Pakistan-Afghanistan border security is imperative to stop terrorist attacks, illegal border crossings and illegal trade.

Through yet another resolution, the House expressed the opinion that the government should take steps to provide accommodation to all female students on their admission in the hostels in the precincts of universities throughout the country. It was moved by Sahibzada Tariqullah and others.

BILLS

Six bills were also introduced in the National Assembly.

These are “The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016” (Amendment) of Article 224A), “The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016” (Amendment of Article 77), “The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2016”, “The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2016” “The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2016″ and The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016” (Amendment of Article 106).

The chair referred these bills to the standing committees concerned.

The House will now meet on Wednesday morning at 10.30.

Radio Pakistan

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