The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior was held on Monday. Chaired by Senator A. Rehman Malik; the meeting was attended by Senator Javed Abbasi, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Senator Muhammad Shafiq Tareen, Senator Kulsoom Parveen, Senator Kauda Babar and Senator Sitara Ayaz and Senator Dilawar Khan were special invitees. The meeting was also attended by State Minister on Interior Sheheryar Afridi, and senior officers from Ministry of Interior (MOI), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Mayor, MCI Islamabad.
The meeting commenced with raising of the issue of delay in issuance of Passports to Overseas Pakistanis, by Chairman Committee, Senator A. Rehman Malik. He said that the data is uploaded in the foreign countries while printing of the passport takes place in Pakistan. This, he stressed, caused considerable delay in the issuance of Passports. The Ministry of Interior has been directed to provide a report in this regard.
While consideration of the Point of Public Importance regarding “Protection of Street Children in Islamabad” raised by Senator Sitara Ayaz, it was asserted that the primary objective of this was to raise attention of the Government towards increasing number of children begging at traffic signals, streets and markets in Islamabad.
The Mover, Senator Sitara Ayaz urged the Government for implementation on the ban on child labour and strict compliance of Human Rights to children. She stated that Street Children are commonly used for terrorist activities and urged the Government that it should fulfill its responsibilities towards child welfare. She pointed out that the Government has not established a Federal Child Protection Commission so far, as promised by the previous Governments.
Chairman Committee, Senator A. Rehman Malik directed that complete ban on professional begging and child labour be enforced. He stated that Traffic Police must report all begging activity at traffic signals, adding that as per UNO demand the government must establish welfare institutions where street children could be provided education and skills. He added that the Ministry of Human Rights and Baitul Maal should coordinate with stake holders for protection of the street children and the Commissioner Islamabad must constitute a Committee comprising local residents to monitor the implementation on the decision of the Committee to eliminate child labour and begging. He said that it is highly alarming that children in our country are growing under such a vulnerable environment as on every traffic signal, markets, parks, hospitals and other public places, one finds daily dozens of children roaming and begging freely. He added that among the street children are the majority of those children who are subjected to professional begging and are forced to beg. He stressed that if stringent laws are not introduced today to protect these children; it can be turned into a big menace for the society in future. He directed the Ministry of Interior to launch a crackdown operation against the baggers and ensure the implementation on the ban of Child Labour and begging in Islamabad.
State Minister on Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi appreciated the Committee’s move towards elimination of begging and child labour across the country particularly Islamabad and assured the committee on full support in this regard.
While consideration of the Point of Public Importance regarding “Delay in Renewal of Arm Licenses from Federal Government” raised by Senator Dilawar Khan, the Mover invited the attention of the Government towards inordinate delay in renewal of Arms Licenses being issued by the Federal Government. He lamented the delay of the Federal Government to announce a clear policy for renewal of Arms Licenses due to which the NADRA offices refuse renewal.
The Minister of State for Interior, Sheheryar Afridi informed the Committee that the Ministry of Interior has begun issuance of computerized Arms Licenses through NADRA w.e.f 20-12-2010. He said that manual Arms Licenses were computerized w.e.f 14-10-2011. After computerization of Arms Licenses the Government decided to renew the Arms Licenses through NADRA instead of National Bank of Pakistan. He added that the decision was declared void by Lahore High Court and Peshawar High Court and that the matter is pending in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He agreed that a hassle free mechanism for renewal of Arms licenses must be devised.
While consideration of the Point of Public Importance regarding the request of “Mukhtiar Begum for Justice of her Son Mr. Shahid Ilyas, Assistant Director FIA, it was revealed that Mr. Shahid Ilyas, is a very well-known officer and was a member of the JIT constituted by the Member of JIT constituted by the Supreme Court on the famous Mashal Khan case. The Chairman Senate Standing Committee Ineterior Senator A. Rehman Malik and the members were disconcerted at the rash treatment of his mother and recommended that that the FIA must fix responsibility of those involved in her torture and submit its report within four weeks, so that strict action may be taken against those involved.
While consideration of the report to be presented by Inspector General Police KPK on the matter of rape / killing of a Three years old Girl in Tehsil Havelian District Abbottabad raised by Senator Javed Abbasi and the matter of frequent cases of Child abuses, the Committee reviewed the report presented by presented by I.G. KPK on the matter of rape / killing of a Three years old Girl. K-P Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Alam Khan Shinwari and SSP Mansehra briefed the Committee about the tragedy and said that police is behind the culprits and are working day and night to identify the culprit behind the rape and murder of minor girl- Faryal. DIG Alam Khan Shinwari assured the committee that police is close to the culprits and hopefully will reach to the real one in couple of days or more. KP Police requested the Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior to allow them more time for submission of report on which the Senator A. Rehman Malik gave three week time for submission of detailed report. The Committee stressed the need for strict action against perpetrators of this heinous crime and was of the view that such individuals are not fit to be called humans. The Minister of State for Interior was of the view that a very strong recommendation must be made on this forum so that strong action is taken against such criminals. He said that it important to send a strong message that all of parliament and the government is on one page on this issue. He recommended that perpetrators of this crime must be hanged publicly. The Committee recommended that stakeholders must revisit their decision regarding public hanging and must ensure that such criminals must be publicly hanged. It was further recommended that trial on such cases must not take more than 90 days.
Senator A. Rehman Malik said that there should be a stringent law for deterrence of such heinous crimes. He urged the Ministry of Interior to bring legislation with proposal that such murderer should be hanged publicly and be made an example of. He added that this committee had taken notice of the murder and rape of little Zainab also and had asked for public hanging of those found guilty of raping or murdering children and once against insist for it.