Senator Mian Raza Rabbani. He is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for National Security. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Mian Raza Rabbani on Wednesday said that Pakistan needed a counter-terrorism law that would not give the state powers to undermine the fundamental rights of the people, DawnNews reported.

He was speaking to media representatives after a session of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS).

A British lawyer and an expert on anti-terrorism laws, Lord Alexander Charles Carlyle, also attended today’s session of the PCNS held in Islamabad.

During the session chaired by Senator Rabbani, Lord Carlyle briefed the committee on Britain’s counter-terrorism laws.

After the session, Rabbani told media representatives that Pakistan was currently formulating laws to counter terrorism, adding that, it was important to examine and learn from the counter-terrorism laws enforced in other countries.

He added that recommendations pertaining to the recovery of missing persons would be given the final approval in the next session of the committee.

The meeting took place at a time when the government has already introduced “the Investigation for Fair Trial Bill, 2012” in the National Assembly “to provide for investigation for collection of evidence by means of modern techniques and devices to prevent and effectively deal with scheduled offences and to regulate the powers of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies” to deal with terrorism.

The bill is pending before the house committee for law and justice and if adopted in its present shape, emails, SMSs, phone calls and audio-visual recordings will be admissible evidence, while suspects will be held for six months after a warrant is issued by a district and sessions judge in his chambers.

The proposed legislation has attracted criticism from some quarters for being too intrusive and against the norms of privacy.

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