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Pakistan's opposition alarmed over disappearance of key rights bills

ANI | Updated: Jun 21, 2021 21:06 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 21 (ANI): Pakistan's opposition in the upper chamber of the bicameral legislature has expressed alarm over its key human rights (HR) bills disappearing in a black hole to emerge in the form of government bills.

While raising severe concerns, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Senator Sherry Rehman on last Friday had said that a wrong practice is going on which disincentives members of the Senate who work hard on the bills.

The PPP leader said that instead of using parliamentary committees for scrutinising and reviewing bills, countless progressive bills had just vanished from parliamentary agendas under the PTI government, Dawn newspaper reported.

“It is shocking how my Bill, ‘Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2020’, has been silently omitted from the agenda. ‘The Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment) Act 2019’ has been cleared by the Senate committee but has not been placed for voting in the Senate whereas the ‘Child Marriage Restraint Bill 2019’ has also disappeared from the National Assembly despite being passed in the Senate,” the PPP parliamentary leader senator added.

Rehman even pointed out that when questions are asked in both the houses of the parliament, no one informs the opposition about the progress of the bills.

“Instead of prioritising these bills, they have been silently omitted from the committee rooms. The relevant minister must supervise the smooth passage of the bills, and not put them on the back burner,” she remarked, as quoted by Dawn.

Further raising alarms, she continued that the bills brought by the opposition suddenly appear as the federal government’s bills in the end.

"The way bills have been tabled in the parliament is unprecedented. The government must inform the parliament regarding the current status of the disappearing bills. This is not how a parliamentary system works,” she concluded. (ANI)