The treasury and opposition benches in the National Assembly on Tuesday agreed on formation of a parliamentary committee to discuss amendments in National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 introduced by MQM and Jamaat-e-Islami.
The House also adopted a resolution unanimously to condemn terror attacks on holy places in Saudi Arabia. Extending condolences to the bereaved families, the house expressed solidarity with the people and the government of the kingdom.
Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq directed Federal Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid to ensure representation of all parliamentary parties, both from National Assembly and Senate, in the committee.
MQM member Shaikh Salahuddin and Jamaat-e-Islami introduced their separate “The National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2016” in the House.
Speaking on the occasion, Zahid Hamid said that it is part of the PML-N’s manifesto to constitute an Independent Accountability Commission to rid the country of corruption and corrupt practices.
He said the ruling party wants to ensure an across-the-board accountability and the parliamentary committee’s debate on the amendments and their subsequent approval by the Parliament will help strengthen the accountability system.
Members from other parties also supported the proposal of constitution of the parliamentary committee to discuss the amendments and urged the Speaker to form it at the earliest.
They said the NAB should be strengthened, so that it could take independent decisions to nab corrupts across the country. They also urged the Speaker to fix a timeframe for the committee to complete its task.
Other bills laid before the House include, “The Islamabad High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2016,” “The Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2016”, “The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016” and “The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2016”. All these bills were referred to the relevant standing committees for further deliberations.
Two separate bills introduced by JUI-F’s Naeema Kishwer Khan and PML-N’s Shaista Pervaiz, “The Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill, 2016” and “The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014”, respectively, were withdrawn.
Hamid informed the House that the government and the opposition have agreed to a joint draft of the Anti-Rape Law which will be presented before a joint sitting of the Parliament for approval very soon.
Presenting a resolution in the House, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yousuf said the whole nation is aggrieved over recent terror attacks in Saudi Arabia and stands by the people there. He said that every Pakistani is ready to sacrifice his life for protection of the sanctity of Harmain Sharifain.
Members from all parties condemned the attacks and expressed their resolve to stand by the people of Saudi Arabia.
The resolution that was passed later unanimously urged the international community in general and the Muslim world in particular to forge unity to fail nefarious designs of enemies of humanity and the Islamic world.
Responding to a Calling Attention Notice, Parliamentary Secretary for National Food Security Rajab Ali Baloch informed the House that the gunny bags were distributed among 72,000 farmers through a transparent system and small growers were accorded special attention.
He, however, admitted flaws in the distribution of gunny bags while agreeing with movers of the Calling Attention Notice. He said that a more transparent system needs to be introduced for procurement of wheat from farmers.
Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq directed the Parliamentary Secretary to present a complete report on the issue in the House within 15 days; otherwise the matter would be referred to the Federal Investigation Agency or National Accountability Bureau for investigation.
Earlier, MQM members staged a walkout from the House to protest against alleged raids and disruption of their social events and gatherings by Rangers in Karachi. -Business Recorder