ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Interior Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing longest curfew in Indian-occupied Kashmir and recent Quetta terrorist attack that claimed at least 14 lives including deputy superintendent of police Haji Amanullah while 21 others sustained injuries. At the outset of the meeting, Chairman Committee Senator A Rehman Malik strongly condemned the ongoing brutalities committed by Indian forces in IOK and the 164 days longest curfew imposed in the valley. He said that committee would continue to condemn brutal curfew by Indian forces and will express solidarity with people of Kashmir who are struggling for their legitimate right of self-determination under UNSC resolutions. The chair asked the PTI-led government to expose the real cruel face of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi through diplomatic fronts by highlighting Indian army’s brutalities against unarmed oppressed Kashmiris. The committee highly commended the role of China in highlighting the Kashmir issue in UNSC meetings and thanked the Chinese government for their support on the issue. “We highly appreciate the statement of Chinese Ambassador in UN Zhang Jun wherein he has stated that China regards Kashmir as a territory disputed between India and Pakistan and supports UN resolutions calling for the exercise by Kashmiri people of their right to self-determination through an UN-supervised plebiscite.” He also welcomed and commended support of the Russian deputy permanent representative in the UN. The meeting expressed deep sorrow over the deaths of more than 100 people and damages of property due to severe snowfall and heavy rain and land sliding across the country. Senator Malik said that Azad Kashmir was the worst-hit area wherein 62 people killed. He directed the government to extend its full assistance to the local administration of the affected areas for rescue and relief operation and announce compensation for the affected families. Expressing his concerns on the bomb blast in Quetta, Senator Malik said the new wave of terrorism was of high concern as terrorists mostly used to start their activities from Balochistan to spread these across the country. He said that government and law enforcement agencies must remain on high alert and vigilant as “inimical forces have always wanted to destabilise peace of the country particularly Balochistan.” He said chief secretary Balochistan would be summoned in the next meeting for a briefing on law and order situation in the province. The committee deferred Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) Bill, 2020 with direction that secretary law and justice should come and brief it on the proposed law. The chair expressed displeasure over secretary’s absence. Senator Malik asked for details of all mutual legal treaties signed by Pakistan with various countries and said this was a general mutual assistance treaty being issued in terms of offering unsolicited help and support to another country. Chairman committee asked whether it was a fact that through this bill they were exposing their entire data to the world.

 

“When I was minister for interior, similar requests to provide data were received by my ministry from US and some Arab countries and that were regretted by me in 2013.”

Senator A Rehman Malik observed that initiator and drafter of the bill needed to explain as to how the personal data of Pakistanis and the national security will be protected when Pakistan had not yet enacted any law to safeguard the said data? He asked whether the extradition treaties signed by Pakistan with other countries will be affected or not will the passage of this bill?

The chairman committee said that he feared that once the bill is passed by the parliament, Financial Action Task Force (TATF) will open a Pandora box to extract data from Pakistan and any refusal will create a bone of contention with such international watchdogs. With these remarks, the chair deferred the bill for another day and summoned one- point agenda meeting today for thorough deliberation and consensus.

He said Pakistan was suffering following FATF placed it in its grey list. “We must pass bill if it brings relief to the country in FATF.

The meeting discussed in detail the matter of demolition of walls of the house of Senator Chaudhry Tanvir Khan in Rawalpindi. Senator Malik said that soon the matter was brought in his notice, he sent a questionnaire containing 12 questions to the relevant departments and he was not satisfied by their reply. He said that the matter was of high importance where the wall of the house of a senator was demolished however he will ensure justice to all. He said that he has asked the following questions.

Senator Malik said that keeping in the view the legal aspects of the matter, it should be investigated thoroughly. He constituted a sub-committee headed by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed with two members to thoroughly investigate the matter on merit and submit a comprehensive report with recommendations to the committee within two weeks. He directed the Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi and all concerned that all kinds of actions and operations should be stopped till the report of the sub-committee.

Senior officials of ministries of interior and law besides of district administration of Rawalpindi and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) participated in the meeting.