The National Assembly on Wednesday passed the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Bill, 2018, reported by Radio Pakistan.
The bill moved by Minister of State for Maritime Affairs Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal is aimed at preventing trafficking in persons especially women and children.
The object of the bill is to target the criminals who exploit desperate people and to protect and assist victims of trafficking. The bill addresses three specific areas including prevention and combating of trafficking, protection and assistance of victims.
Under the bill, any person or group who commits an offense of trafficking shall be liable to imprisonment from seven years up to fourteen years and fine up to two million rupees keeping in view the nature of the crime. An offense under this bill shall be cognizable and non-bailable.
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has urged all political parties and religious scholars to fulfill their responsibilities towards eliminating extremist mindset from the country.
Speaking in the National Assembly on Wednesday, he said we already have witnessed a lot of bloodshed and anarchy. He said it is time to crush the seed of hatred and establish complete peace. He noted that with extremist mindset we cannot take forward the country.
He said it is not the right of any person to take the life of any individual but the decision regarding award of punishment rests only with the courts and judges.
The Minister said that about two thousand Pakistani religious scholars “Under Paigham-e-Pakistan” have also stated that Jihad cannot be declared by any individual or a group but only the state. He said our religion also preaches peace and we should truly follow its teachings.
On the occasion, the Interior Minister also thanked all the political leaders who prayed for is recovery and visited him in the hospital to inquire about his health after the assassination attempt on his life.
The Interior Minister also clarified his position about the Iqama he possessed from 2011 to 2016. He said that during this period he was member of Institute of Leadership and Entrepreneurship in Medina. He clarified that it was an honorary position and he did not get any remuneration.
Leader of the opposition Khurshid Shah expressed concerns over rising political intolerance. He also regretted the incident in which a leader of political party slapped a setting MNA yesterday. He said we should respect the opinion of others as it is the hallmark of democracy.
Leaders belonging to different political parties again denounced the assassination attempt on the interior minister and prayed for his complete recovery.
Rising on a point of order, Opposition Leader Khurshid Shah said there is serious water crisis in Sindh province which is affecting the daily lives of people as well as the agriculture sector.
He asked the federal government to take notice of the situation.
Three other bills were also passed by the House today.
These included “The Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies Bill, 2018, “The Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and “The Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
The House will now meet tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.