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NA rejects Opp Panama Papers inquiries bill

Members for presentation of Dawn Leaks report

Zahid Chaudhary


The National Assembly on Tuesday rejected the Panama Papers Inquiries Bill 2016 tabled by the opposition.
Minister for Law Zahid Hamid strongly opposed the bill saying there is no need for such proceedings as the Supreme Court has already given its judgment on the matter.
He maintained that the bill, framed by the opposition, is discriminatory in nature and has become Infructuous after the judgment of the Supreme Court. He said the bill was designed against the Prime Minister and it has nothing to do with the investigation of others named in Panama Papers. “This is the reason that the government and the opposition had failed to reach consensus on this bill,” he added.
The Minister said Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Bill has already been passed by both the houses of the parliament and this piece of legislation can be used for investigation of other people named in Panama Papers.
PPP leader Naveed Qamar, on the other hand, maintained that the bill should not be rejected only because it contained the words ‘Panama Papers’ “The court case only dealt with one family, while this bill will open the doors of inquiry regarding everyone involved in the Panama Papers.” Shireen Mizari of Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaaf expressed similar remarks saying the government itself had stated that all those named in Panama Papers should undergo investigation. However, the bill was rejected with majority vote.
The ‘Panama Papers Inquires Act 2016’ bill sought a legal process for inquiries into the transnational and trans-jurisdictional secret transfers and deposits of vast sums of Pakistani rupees and resources by persons whose names have been disclosed in the Panama Papers. It was framed by the PPP.
Rising on points of order, the opposition members demanded that inquiry report into Dawn leaks should be presented before the Parliament. They said the parliament is the supreme institution and every issue should be discussed in the house.
Several bills were laid before the house on Tuesday. These were: “The Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2017”, “The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2017”, “The Right to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017”, “The Islamabad Birthing Centre and Hospital Maternity Services Bill, 2017”, “The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2017”, “The Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill, 2017”, “The National Commission for Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2017”, “The National Centre for Countering Violent Extremism Bill, 2017” and “The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2017”.
The National Assembly passed a resolution strongly condemning the recent killing of fourteen labourers in Gwadar and Kharan.
The resolution moved by Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch expressed heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved families. The resolution urged the federal and provincial governments to use all available resources to trace the culprits and bring them to justice.
Earlier, responding to a calling attention notice, Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhary said a survey is being carried out in Islamabad to assess the requirement of new schools in the capital territory.
He said that enrollment ratio in the public sector schools has increased following the execution of PM’s Education Reform Programme in Islamabad. He said that evening classes had also been started in order to accommodate maximum number of children in the schools.

(via Google News)

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