Senate panel seeks report about TTP spokesman’s ‘escape’

Updated February 11, 2020

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The Senate Standing Com­­mittee on Interior has sought a detailed report about the escape from the country of spokesman for the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Ehsanullah Ehsan. — Dawn/File
The Senate Standing Com­­mittee on Interior has sought a detailed report about the escape from the country of spokesman for the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Ehsanullah Ehsan. — Dawn/File

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Com­­mittee on Interior has sought a detailed report about the escape from the country of spokesman for the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Ehsanullah Ehsan.

Senator Javed Abbasi raised the issue during a meeting of the committee presided over by its chairman Rehman Malik on Monday. He wondered how such a high-profile person who was said to be in prison could escape.

The committee directed the interior ministry to submit a report within three days on Ehsanullah Ehsan’s escape and his audio message.

A couple of days ago it was reported in the media that the TTP leader had managed to escape from jail and later issued a video message.

The committee passed the National Cou­nter Terrorism Authority (Amend­ment) Bill, 2019. The meeting proposed that one member each from treasury and opposition benches in the Senate and National Assembly to be nominated by the Senate chairman and NA speaker, respectively, for the board of governors of the National Counter Terrorism Authority.

The bill was proposed by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati.

The committee deferred the Islamabad Prevention of Beggary Bill, 2019 and the Rights of Persons Arrested, Detained or under Custodial Investigation Bill, 2019.

The meeting condemned the ongoing curfew in India-held Kashmir and urged the international community to take notice of the gross human rights violations and humanitarian crisis in the occupied valley.

The committee observed one-minute silence for the victims of coronavirus and expressed solidarity with the people and government of China.

The committee regretted that the passengers arriving from China were not being checked properly for coronavirus as there was no such arrangement at airports.

The committee discussed the matter relating to grabbing of money through anonymous and fraudulent calls on the pretext of Jazz Cash and other illegal online transfer of money. It directed the Federal Investigation Agency to take action against those involved in these illegal activities.

The committee asked the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to apprise the committee under what law cellular companies were dealing with monetary matters and under what law they were issued licences.

The committee directed that guidelines be sought from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to regulate all these activities and stop misuse of these services.

Mr Malik told the meeting that he had talked to the SBP governor who assured full assistance to the authorities concerned in regulating the online transfer of money.

He expressed displeasure over the absence of the Jazz representative and directed the PTA to issue a show-cause notice to the company.

Mr Malik said representatives of all

cellular companies operating in Pakistan and dealing with financial transactions should appear in the next meeting of the committee.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2020