ISLAMABAD (Online): National Assembly approved the Pakistan Protection Bill late on Monday amid strong amid volatile and noisy protests and walkout by the opposition parties, during which the opposition parties also tore the copies of the bill, and tried to access Speaker’s dais, only to be blocked by official parliamentarians shielding the Speaker.
Earlier the “Pakistan Protection Bill 2013, Ordinance No.9 “ bill was presented in the assembly by Federal Minister Science and Technology, Zahid Hamid; opposition parties, including Government’s coalition partner Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-F (JUI-F) also opposed the bill and walked out of the assembly.
Under the Pakistan Protection Bill, trial of any case would not be in contradiction to Article 10 of the constitution, special courts would also be formed to ensure the speedy trial of terrorism related cases, and any person convicted could be kept in any jail across the country and, joint interrogation team would investigate terrorism related cases.
Opposing the bill, opposition leader Khurshid Shah said that that since the bill was of utter importance, it should not (have been) be passed in such haste, without any debate; but rather after mutual consensus.
He wanted opposition be taken into confidence about such features of the controversial bill as arresting people for 90 days without warrants by forcing into their homes, besides killing anyone.
Zahid Hamid expressed himself strongly over opposition’s opposition of the bill, while PTI opposition member Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qurieshi cautioned that even if government bullied its will in N.A it would never be able to get this bill passed from Senate.
He also backed Khurshid Shah’s demand of debating the bill before implementing it.
MQM’ Farooq Sattar also rejected the bill as extra-Constitutional black bill, and while offering government the benefit of private members day said that government should talk to MQM about the bill.
JI’s Sahibzada Tariq Ullah had concerns about the country becoming a police state.