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Pakistan Protection Bill passed as Opposition stage walkout

Updated April 07, 2014
— File photo
— File photo

ISLAMABAD: Amidst much uproar and protests, the Protection of Pakistan Bill was approved on late Monday evening in the National Assembly, DawnNews reported.

Meanwhile, the government refused all amendments suggested by the Opposition.

The minute Pakistan Protection Bill 2013 was presented in the upper house; chaos ensued and eventually resulted in a boycott.

Opposition leaders gathered around the dais and protested against the bill. Some opposition members also tore down the copies of the bill and threw them.

Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) showed its support with the opposition and also joined in the walk-out.

Calling it a ‘black law’, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) slammed the Bill and said it will backfire.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that bill was accepted without taking into account the opposition to it.

“The government bulldozed the process of legislation. With this bill, it is getting limitless powers,” he said.

MQM leader Farooq Sattar said that the Prime Minister and the Home Minister had assured them of consultation on the bill today.

“However, the opposite happened and we were not allowed to suggest amendments,” he said.

The JUI-F called the new bill an ‘extra-constitutional’ and slammed it.

According to the contents of the Bill, the said law will ensure that trail of cases against terrorists are expedited.

A joint team will investigate terrorism cases of terrorism and special courts will be set up to deal with the cases.

Furthermore, under the bill, any person who is convicted of a crime can be kept in any prison in the country.

APP adds:

Minister for State and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch on Monday called for a protective law to save the country from terrorism and sectarian violence.

“The country is bleeding. We need to protect lives and property of our people and this needs a protective law,” he said speaking in National Assembly during discussion on the Protection of Pakistan Bill 2013 and the Protection of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2014.

He said the situation started worsening from 1999 and two previous governments also lived with the same situation but enacted no law for protection.

“Even today they are opposing the bill knowing well that this wave of terrorism has claimed the lives of 40,000 Pakistanis.”

He mentioned the examples like release of Ajmal Pahari; the killer of 100 people as well as quashing the cases against 8000 people of a political party.

But, today the important people of previous governments are opposing this bill, sitting on opposition benches.

“We are not enacting a law to kill the people. The country is bleeding and the government desires to protect the innocent people from the tyranny of extremists,” he added.

The minister said, “Today people are talking of separate countries and we are opposing a law meant for securing the country and its people from the clutches of terrorism and extremism.”

He however stated that if this law can be made better, it should be done but it should not be opposed out rightly.