Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator A. Rehman Malik in Committee meeting today on Wednesday strongly condemned recent wave of terrorist attacks on personnel of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) particularly FC personnel who are being targeted continuously in the province of Balochistan and offered Fateha for those who were martyred in the recent attacks. Senator Rehman Malik said FC Balochistan has rendered numerous sacrifices in fight against terrorism. He said that the whole nation was proud of FC Balochistan’s contribution in war against terrorism.
The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator A. Rehman Malik here at the Parliament House and was attended among others by Senator Javed Abbasi, Senators Mian Ateeq Sheikh, Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed and Senator Kauda Baber. Secretary Interior, Chairman NADRA, Director General NADRA, Inspector General Police Islamabad, DIG Security Islamabad, Additional Inspector General Police Punjab, DIG FC Peshawar, DIG Punjab Rangers, DIG KP Police, Chief Commissioner Islamabad and others prominent officials attended the meeting and apprised the committee on relevant issues.
While condemning the terrorist attacks in Balochistan, Senator A. Rehman Malik said that the Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was involved in terrorist activities in Balochistan and there is dire need of national solidarity to foil such nefarious designs of India. He said that he appreciates United States government for enlisting the Indian terrorists organization RSS in the foreign terrorists organization which member was Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that Mr. Narendra Modi is not only the product of RSS but an active member of this terrorist organization. He said he has been advocating since last many years that RSS is a terrorist organization and should be enlist in Foreign Terrorists Organizations and the Prime Minister whom he always calls “Chief Terrorist” should be declared as terrorist by world community for his brutalities against Muslims in Gujrat, Kashmir and other parts of India. The committee expressed satisfaction over US decision of enlisting the RSS in FTOs.
In the meeting a serious notice of the incident in which three sisters killed in Cholistan was taken and directed Punjab Police to submit a comprehensive report of the incident. Senator A. Rehman Malik said that he was shocked by the media reports that the father of three missing daughters was calling police for help for the rescue of his daughters but police didn’t respond to his call. He said that responsible should be identified and must deal under the law. He said it is the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens particularly in such a dangerous situation.
While taking serious notice of leakage of sensitive information from Nadra, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior expressed great concerns over it saying that today when elections are coming close such allegations are very serious. The Committee expressed sorry over the alleged leakage of voters data and asked Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to brief about the issue. Senator Rehman Malik said if the allegations against the NADRA are true then those who are responsible of the breach should be taken to task as per law. Senator A. Rehman Malik asked Chairman NADRA as what is the level of the password security and internal system of scrutiny, Which SOP is applied and was directed to submit the report on this in the next meeting.
The issue of voting by overseas Pakistanis in upcoming General Elections 2018 was discussed in detail in the committee and The Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik said that committee and was regretted to know that the overseas Pakistanis will not be voting in upcoming elections as NADRA couldn’t hand over the software to Election Commission of Pakistan. Senator A. Rehman Malik said that he feels sorry to give the message to oversee Pakistanis that we failed to provide them their basic right of voting in elections and NADRA is responsible for not acting timely. He said that our foreign Pakistanis are our asset and they are playing role of our economy backbone by their contribution.
Chairman NADRA stated that despite the web application being ready, there were certain administrative hiccups that hindered its launched during the upcoming elections.
The Committee directed Chairman NADRA to submit report regarding the software being made specifically for oversee voting and provided the timeline of three months for its functioning and proposed the law draft for this matter.
Secretary Ministry of Interior briefed the committee on the ministry functions and responsibilities and future plans including working of its attached/subordinate departments. He also briefed the Committee regarding arrangements made by the Ministry of Interior during Elections 2018. He stated that MOI’s mission was to assist the Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) to conduct free and fair elections. He stated that in view of the current security situation in Pakistan, electioneering and elections faced numerous threats and challenges that included attacks on candidates and disruption of communication networks. He also asserted that possibility of cross-border terrorist activity could not be ruled out.
Regarding sensitivity of polling stations, Special Secretary MOI revealed that provinces had already provided the ministry with relative information. Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik questioned the criterion that determined the sensitivity ratio of polling stations in Pakistan. He was of the view that in the current scenario it was essential that every polling station be treated as sensitive. He instructed the MOI to submit a complete report regarding this. Chairman Committee further asserted the importance of a Monitoring cell that would provide complete information on the polling process.
Ministry assured the Chairman Committee of 24/7 uninterrupted monitoring of the General Elections 2018 via a control room at that would be situated at the MOI. Chairman Committee stated that he and other Committee members would like to review arrangements at the Monitoring Cell.
While discussing the prisons and situation of prisoners in Pakistani jails, Senator Rehman Malik urged the privileged class to come forward and help those prisoners in pursuing their cases and paying their fines in order to get them freed. He said that many poor are suffering in jails due to poverty. Meanwhile, Senator A. Rehman Malik announced to contribute one month’s salary of Committee members in the proposed Fund for the poor prisoners and was endorsed by the members. Committee directed the secretary interior to open an account in the National Bank Pakistan that people can contribute in this noble cause. While taking the matter of different Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working in different sectors across the country, Senator A. Rehman Malik said special legislation should be introduced for Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) as no one should be above law and to not be answerable to state in its working. He said that all NGOs should abide by State’s laws and operate within the prescribed circle. Senator A. Rehman Malik proposed that an Authority should be established under Ministry of Interior to monitor issues of NGOs and a draft proposal should be prepared in this regard within one month time. The Chairman handed over the matter of legislation on NGOs to Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice to be chaired by Senator Javed Abbasi and assisted by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed.
On issue of illegal weapons, Senator A. Rehman Malik made it clear that it is imperative to purify the country from illegal weapons. He observed that illegal arms and extremism are inter-linked and underscored the need that besides eliminating terrorism, extremism should also be wiped out. He said that we need to work on deradicalization and deweaponization in the country.
On issue of human smuggling, the Committee asked Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to submit a detailed report on the matter. The Committee also urged a crackdown against the human smugglers across the country and directed FIA to thoroughly get those investigated who are being deported from different countries during their illegal immigration. Senator A. Rehman Malik said that such human smuggling is a heinous crime which is bringing bad name to our country.
Asking a detailed briefing on issue of removing the name of Zulfi Bukhari from ECL by Ministry of Interior, the Committee expressed dismay over the matter and said if Zulfi Bukhari was not informed about placing his name on ECL then the mistake is at part of the ministry.