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Senate passes law securing women’s voting rights

ISLAMABAD: The Senate in its  258th session on Monday unanimously passed a bill securing women’s right to vote, ARY News reported.

According to details, “The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2016” was moved by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senator Sherry Rehman.

“This law will criminalise all those who collude to prevent women from voting. The Constitution will be amended after the NA passes it too,” said Sherry Rehman on her Facebook page after the passage of the bill.


The house also unanimously passed “The National Counter Terrorism Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2016 moved by another PPP leaader Farhatullah Babar. The bill provides to amend the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) Act, 2013.

The House also passed three resolutions unanimously.

The first resolution moved by Muhammad Talha Mahmood recommended the government to take effective steps for poverty alleviation in the country.

The second resolution moved by Muhammad Azam Khan Swati recommended the government to make legislation to provide for preferential treatment to the women engaged in business and trade related activities in the country.

The third resolution moved by Mir Kabeer Ahmad Muhammad Shahi recommended that the domicile certificates of the persons belonging to the Balochistan, who are working in various Ministries and Divisions and Federal Government Departments, be sent to the concerned authorities in the Province of Balochistan for verification of the same.

The senators demanded the government to take effective measures on war footing basis for conservation of water in the country.

They were speaking on a motion moved by Chaudhary Tanvir Khan regarding the situation arising out of constantly lowering water table in the country.

They said that due to the excessive water withdrawal and lack of conservation of the rain water, the water table in all parts of the country is lowering speedily.

They said that due to shortage of water the country is facing climate change issues and if this continued then there are chances of drought in the country in future. They said the water shortage will also severely affect the crops and livestock production in the country.

They said that legislation should be done regarding water use and its withdrawal through tube wells. They said small and big dams should be constructed all over the country to conserve the rain and flood water. They said the canals should be lined to reduce the water loss through seepage. They said there should be special educational programmes in schools and awareness campaigns for the general public regarding the responsible and efficient water use. They said that water management practices should be adopted for best use of the available water.

Concluding the discussion, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that an International Conference on water situation will be held in Islamabad in November this year.

He said that a water policy has been finalized and will be presented before the Council of Common Interest (CCI) for approval during its next meeting.

Khawaja Asif said the government will start the work on two water reservoirs Diamer-Bhasha and Munda Dam this year. He said the water of the reservoirs will be used for irrigation and power production. He said that Diamer-Bhasha Dam will be constructed from Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). He said 4500 MW electricity will be generated from Diamer-Bhasha Dam.

He said the Naulong Dam is workable and Balochistan government and political parties should work on its implementation.

The Minister said Indus River System Authority (IRSA) has members from all the provinces and rights of all the provinces are being protected. He said the water metering and tax issues are the responsibility of the provinces.

He said the polluted water of Karachi instead of wasting into the sea should be treated and reused. He said this task can be accomplished either by public or private sector.

He said water shortage is the natural crisis and it should be tackled by the whole nation collectively.

The Senators strongly condemned the incident of torture on a minor maid servant Tayyaba in Islamabad and violation of the Child Protection Act.

Speaking on a motion moved by Sehar Kamran, the members said that the incident is a violation of the International Convention on Child Protection that is also signed by Pakistan. They said the incident is an example of failure of the legislation done by the Parliament for the protection of the children.

They lauded the steps taken by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) for taking suo moto notice for providing speedy justice to the victim child. They said that the perpetrators of the crime should be brought to justice to set an example for the future.

They demanded that the child protection act should be implemented in letter and spirit. They said that the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the whole society for providing justice to the victim minor girl.

The members said that it is a test case for the Supreme Court and it should be taken to logical conclusion.




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