ISLAMABAD - The PTI’s government yesterday in the National Assembly laid the ‘International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Ordinance, 2020’, which is aimed at granting foreign citizens, who have been convicted in Pakistan, the opportunity to file a review appeal.

The government was interested in introducing the ordinance last week, but the opposition disrupted proceedings by terming it an attempt to facilitate Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

The ICJ (Review and Reconsideration) Ordinance 2020, which was promulgated on May 20, gives foreign citizens convicted in Pakistan the chance to file a review appeal in the country’s courts.

The ordinance was promulgated after ICJ, in its verdict last year, ruled that Pakistan must grant consular access to Kulbushan Jadhav, an Indian spy convicted and sentenced to death by a military court, and allow him to file a review appeal. The ordinance gives the right of appeal to Kulbhushan against the military court’s verdict which sentenced him to death for carrying out terror acts in Pakistan.

Although the Minister for Law Farogh Naseem had clarified that this ordinance was promulgated only to fulfill requirements of International Court Justice [ICJ], yet PPP-Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari opposed the move. He said that the government should have discussed it in the committee before presenting it in the house.

Bilawal argued that there was a need to build consensus with opposition.

“In order to fulfill requirements of FATF and implementation of the National Action Plan, the government should consult opposition,” he said, expressing his reservations to the ordinance.

 

Bilawal said it seems the government was not serious in creating consensus in the Parliament. “If you are not serious then why should we go along,” he said.

 

Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Babar Awan, responding to the concerns raised by the PPP-P Chairman, said the present government wanted to create consensus with the opposition with regard to the legislative business. “In order to fulfill legislative requirements, the bills have to be moved in two houses of the Parliament,” he argued.

 

The government and PPP-P MNAs locked horns over privatization of Public Sector Entities (PSEs), CPEC route and the current situation in Karachi after rains. The house witnessed rumpus when lawmakers from both sides accused each other of bad governance.

 

PTI’s MNA Amjad Ali Khan, initiating debate on privatization, said that the previous governments had badly dealt with Public Sector Entities (PSEs) of the country. The main opposition parties [PML-N and PPP-P] have a background of joining hands on mutual interests, he said, adding that the opposition criticised the policies of the present government to deal with COVID-19 but now the developed countries have praised the smart lockdown strategy.

 

PPP-P’s Abdul Qadir Patel, taking part in debate, responded to the government’s member in the same tone. He blamed the government for wrongly dealing with privatization of PSEs. A senior member from PTI Riaz Fatiyana argued that there was a need to immediately resolve the issue of sick units in PSEs.

 

 

Other ordinances laid in the House by the adviser to the Prime Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Babar Awan include the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, The Corporate Restructuring Companies (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, The Companies (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 and The Public Private Partnership Authority (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.

 

Four bills were referred to the joint sitting of the Parliament for consideration and passage, as these bills were passed only by the National Assembly and not by the Senate within 90 days of laying in the Upper House.

 

The bills include the Islamabad High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2018, The ICT Rights of Persons with Disability Bill, 2020, The Surveying and Mapping (Amendment) Bill, 2020, and The Federal Public Service Commission (Validation of Rules) Bill, 2020.