Senate approves anti-terrorism amendment bill 2013

ISLAMABAD, (SANA): The anti-terrorism amendment bill 2013 has been accepted with a majority in the Senate.

The bill which was tabled by Law Minister Farooq Naek had been previously approved by the National Assembly on February 21.

According to the bill, suspects accused of terrorism will be interrogated by an inspector level office, while audio video recordings, phone recordings and email could be used as evidence. The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed “Anti-Terrorism The bill was introduced in the National Assembly last week.

On Tuesday, the Senate adopted the bill when upper house resumed its session in Islamabad with Chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari in the chair.

One clause of the new bill says that “if any or all office-bearers of a proscribed organisation form a new organisation under a different name, upon suspicion about their involvement in similar activities, the said organisation shall also be deemed to be a proscribed organisation and the government may issue a formal notification of its proscription”.

The bill also provides that if members of such organisations or their associates were found “continuing the activities of the proscribed organisation, they would be denied passports and foreign travel, and loans or financial support by any bank or financial institution and have their arms licences cancelled”.

A clause of the bill says that “no court shall grant bail to a person accused of an offence under this act punishable with death or imprisonment for life or imprisonment exceeding 10 years”.

The federal government would also be authorized to tape phone calls and messages of the transgressors in order to trace them.

In case of civil war and internal threats, communication system of the country may also be suspended for national security. The Senate was informed Tuesday that the Supreme Court took 86 suo moto actions during the last five years.

Law Minister Farooq H. Naek told the House that according to the information provided by Supreme Court, 53 cases have been disposed off while 33 are pending.

He said that during the last year 33737 cases of human rights were disposed off while 16331 are pending.

To a question, Minister of State for Communications Mir Dost Muhammad Mazari told the House that for providing connectivity to Gwadar Port three road projects have been completed while work on four other such projects is underway. He said thirteen billion and five hundred twenty-seven million rupees have been incurred on these projects during the last five years.

To a question regarding the names of the superior courts judges having dual nationality, the Law Minister said that the Supreme Court was requested to provide requisite information. He said in its reply the Supreme Court has said that neither the Constitution nor Code of Conduct prescribed for the judges of the Supreme Court place any embargo in this regard.
The Federal Shariat Court has informed that no judge of the Court holds dual nationality while the reply from the High Courts is awaited.

Minister for Postal Services Sardar Muhammad Umar Gorgeij in a written reply said that the government has taken a number of steps to improve the Postal Service in the country to facilitate the masses.
He said that 508 Post Offices have been established during the last five years. 

ANP members staged a walkout from the House over the law and order situation in Balochistan.

Convener of the Special Committee on Election issues Jahangir Badr presented before the House the report of the committee.
Law Minister Farooq H. Naek laid before the House “The Federal Ombudsmen Institutional Reforms Ordinance, 2013 (Ordinance No. I of 2013)”. The House will now meet today (Wednesday) at 3:00 p.m.

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