ISLAMABAD            -          The Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution strongly condemning the “illegal and immoral steps” by the Indian government to change the demography of Indian Occupied Kashmir by allowing citizenship of India on very easy terms.

The committee called upon the government to take more rigorous actions to counter the propaganda and illegal moves of the Indian government.

At the onset of the meeting, Senator A. Rehman Malik said that it was the 347th day of curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir and since day one, this committee has been marking these days as ‘dark days’ in the history of mankind and expressing solidarity with Kashmiris who are struggling for their legitimate right of self-determination under UNSC resolutions.

He said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “brutalities” are not only limited to the IOK but through RSS, he is persecuting Muslims across India. He urged the international community to intervene and stop the ongoing massacre of Muslims in India and Indian Occupied Kashmir.

The committee through the resolution called upon the government to take up this matter with the United Nations. It called upon Prime Minister Modi to refrain from doing this illegal act in violation of United Nations resolutions wherein right of self-determination has already been given to Kashmiri Muslim population of IOK.”

Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik expressed his fears that coronavirus cases will increase manifold in upcoming days. It directed the government to make strict and implementable SOPs for Eid-ul-Azha so that the spread of COVID-19 is controlled.

The committee considered the Provincial Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2020 introduced by Senator Faisal Javed Khan. The bill called for inserting a new section in the Ordinance XIX of 1965 regarding offences and penalties related to emergency vehicles. The amendments called for giving clear and uninterrupted passage to ambulances and fire brigade vehicles, imposing fines on failure to comply with and punishing people who use warning devices without authorisation. The committee approved these amendments while others were dropped.

The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2020 introduced by Senator Mian Raza Rabbani was also discussed in the meeting. The mover briefed the committee about the scope of amendment which will omit the section 124-A. Senator Malik said that since the bill was of highest importance which needs a thorough deliberation. He decided to call the federal Secretary of Law and all provincial Home Secretaries in next meeting to further deliberate on the bill.

The matter of relief packages for businesses, especially hotels and restaurants, raised by Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi was discussed in detail. Chairman Committee Senator A.Rehman Malik said that coronavirus has affected people from all sections of society adding that government must announce a general relief package covering all. He urged the government to announce relief packages for traders, businessmen and laymen so that all could be compensated equally.

He said that in first phase the small businessmen especially those who are running shops in markets and big malls should be accommodated for their losses during lockdown period. The committee after hearing the mover and the relevant departments decided to give its recommendations in the house through a draft bill that government is to take responsibility of helping small businesses in payment of rents and bills.

The committee also sought a detailed briefing on the organisational structure of the Capital Hospital of CDA and the details of equipment available. Chairman CDA told the meeting that after COVID-19, 83 oxygenated beds were set up in the hospital and more arrangements for improving the facilities and infrastructure will be completed in six months.