Senate passes NAB amend bill amid Opp protest Journalists protection and HEC bills also pushed through

Staff Reporter

The incumbent government on Friday was successful in passing the National Accountability Amendment bill 2021 in the Senate, despite objections from the opposition.

Minister for Law Dr Farogh Naseem presented the NAB Amendment bill, which was approved by the upper house. “This bill is being passed for everyone across the board, not for a single person,” he stated.

Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari presented the Protection Amendment bill 2021 – against harassment of women in the workplace – Justice System for Adolescents Amendment bill, National Commission for Protection of Rights Amendment bill and Islamabad Capital Protection of Children Amendment Bill before the House.

The chairperson of the Senate referred all the bills to their respective committees. The Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals bill was passed with 35 votes in favour and 29 against.

Minister of State Ali Mohammed Khan introduced the amendment bills related to the Higher Education Commission in the house which were passed by majority vote.

Ali Mohammad Khan lamented that it was as if Senate Chairperson Sadiq Sanjrani was only the opposition’s chairperson, as he passed on all bills presented by the ruling government to their respective committees.

“I am the chairman for the upper house, including both the government and the opposition. All members of the Senate are worthy of respect to me,” the chairperson replied.

Later, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman in a statement lashed out at the government for being unwilling to listen to the opposition. “What was left of parliament in the Senate was destroyed today when the treasury introduced a supplementary agenda at 12.35 pm without laying bills and just called in members to bulldoze a NAB bill. From now on the Senate too will not run,” she said.

The PPP senator said that the government was unwilling to allow the provinces to “speak or breathe” Talking about the NAB bill, she said that it was presented after members had left for the Friday prayers.

“Because friends in the media are asking: we did NOT oppose the journalist protection bill but were asking for it to go to a standing committee, same as what we wanted for all bills after the supplementary agenda was produced when members had left for Friday prayers,” she added. The House has been prorogued.

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