ISLAMABAD              -          The Senate Standing Committee on Interior Monday strongly condemned the controversial anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act that has sparked violent protests in India.

The committee that met under the chair of Senator Rehman Malik also criticized Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for the imposition of 140-day long curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

On the outset of the meeting, the chair congratulated the new Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed for taking oath of his office. The committee expressed that the new CJP has tremendous abilities to prove himself worthy of the confidence being reposed in him by the nation.

Senator Rehman Malik said that this committee would continue to condemn Indian brutalities and urge the government to move in International Court of Justice against PM Narendra Modi for his “crimes against humanity.” He said that Indian government by one after another action is sidelining the Muslims and other minorities to convert India into a Hindu State alone.

He informed the participants that he has written a letter to the editor-in-chief of the Guinness World Records to make part of its record the longest ever curfew imposed by Indian government in Kashmir.

The FIA briefed the committee on the status of inquiries initiated against officers and officials of Capital Development Authority (CDA) for their alleged involvement in corruption and irregularities. The committee was informed that a total number of 57 inquiries were underway. Senator A Rehman Malik directed the FIA to come up with complete statistics of all such cases in the next meeting.

CDA and Municipal Corporation Islamabad (MCI) briefed the committee regarding approval of MCI for restoration of licenses to establish kiosks/cabins at various locations in Islamabad. The committee had a considered view that by demolishing of kiosks, a large number of people have become unemployed and jobless in Islamabad.

The committee observed that the issue has arisen due to absence of proper rules and mismanagement. The chairman CDA informed that some specific locations have been identified to establish kiosks so that they are not scattered all across the city. Senator A. Rehman Malik, Chairman Committee, directed the CDA and MCI to bring the proper rules and regulations for the allotment and construction of kiosks in the capital city.

He directed the CDA to provide the committee the details of a uniform design and size of kiosks, their specific locations and fixing of reasonable fee. The chair also directed that genuine licenses should be restored and they should be given priority in the proposed allotment for kiosks and the particulars of those previous legal allottees should be provided to the committee.

While discussing the reasons for the delay in operationalizing the Islamabad Citizens Club, the committee directed that the required funds should be released to MCI soon so that the club could be made functional effectively. The chair assigned senators Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh and Azam Khan Swati to solve this long standing issue of the non-functioning of the club.

Senator A. Rehman Malik had taken a suo moto notice on non-payment of salaries to sanitary workers of MCI. He expressed his annoyance over it and directed the CDA and MCI to make immediate arrangements within 24 hours for payment of their salaries before Christmas. The Chairman CDA assured compliance of his directions.

The Punjab Police briefed the committee regarding abduction and killing of four children in Chunian area of district Kasur. The four children were kidnapped in June, August and September of this year in an area of five kilometers. A JIT was formed under regional police officer Sheikhupura and since these incidents, 80 more victim children have been recovered from different places in Kasur, the police informed.

DPO Kasur told the committee that a comprehensive security plan was issued with stop and search plans and active intelligence work. “Search operations, DNA profiling, forensic examination, crime analysis were carried out. Seven special teams were constituted. 2649 people were interrogated for DNA, 47 were interrogated as prime suspects,” he said adding that data of 904 rickshaw drivers was collected and then shortlisted to 48 for DNA sampling. “40 people with criminal record were shortlisted, 6545 coordinates were selected from the vicinity for geo fencing, and 4684 houses were checked”. The accused Sohail Shahzada was arrested on 1st October and the court has sentenced him to death on three counts.

The committee appreciated the swift work done by the Punjab Police and also appreciated the proposals shared for more proactive and timely investigations in future. The chair directed the Ministry of Interior to send recommendations for giving the awards and cash prizes to the officials of Punjab Police for their excellent and committed professional performance in the case to trace out the culprits.

The chairman committee expressed his deep concerns over the alarming increase in the child abuses incidents, across the country. He directed the interior secretary to bring amendments in the relevant sections of law of evidence and investigation based on modern technologies and suggesting more stringent punishment for those who commit such heinous crimes. Senator Javed Abbasi was of the view that there was dire need to bring awareness among the children by including contents regarding child abuse in the syllabus all over the country.

The committee decided to get an in-camera briefing about what Pakistan is doing to fulfill conditions to get its name excluded from the grey list of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and to undergo another review of the anti-money laundering watchdog that is due in the second week of January.