The human rights issues echoed in the Senate on Friday as the lawmakers discussed kidnapping of the bloggers, alleged torture of a ten-year-old child-maid while the House passed a bill to ensure right of vote to women.
The House also witnessed introduction of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 to protect the rights of marginalized community. The lawmakers also touched upon the fire incident at Gudnai ship-breaking yard and were informed about the site visit of Human Rights Committee.
The House was further informed about the steps being taken by the government to provide legal aid to those women prisoners who can’t afford to hire a lawyer. In reply to a Starred Question, the House was told that the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan had constituted District Legal Empowerment Committees (DLECs) in all districts of the country to provide free legal aid to deserving litigants.
Federal and State Ministers for Interior and Narcotics Control gave policy statements on the disappearance of rights activists. The Chairman also expressed his concern over the statements of the Foreign Offices of the United Kingdom and the United States over the issue of bloggers’ kidnapping.
Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani said both these governments do not have any right to interfere in the internal matters of a sovereign country, as they never took notice of the gross violations of human rights, missing persons and extra-judicial killings in Palestine and Indian held Kashmir.
The House discussed the reported appointment of former Army Chief as the Chief of Islamic Military Alliance and its overall impact on the foreign policy. The Chair asked the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense to brief the House on the subject, which they did.—NNI