ISLAMABAD: The government has succeeded in railroading the controversial Electoral Amendment Bill, 2021 giving voting rights to millions of overseas Pakistanis and allowing the use of Electronic Voting Machines.
The government also passed a plethora of bills including State Bank of Pakistan Banking Services Corporation Amendment Bill, Registration and Regulations of Welfare Institutes Bill, Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav Bill, National College of Arts Institute Bill, and two bills related to Muslim Family Law.
The passage of the electoral reforms bill triggered the opposition to tear copies of the agenda and walk out of the joint session in protest.
Lawmakers also gathered around the treasury benches, chanting slogans against Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government. Sergeant in arms were in action to avert any incident.
Earlier, the Joint Sitting of the Parliament Wednesday passed The Elections Second Amendment Bill, 2021, granting the right of vote to overseas Pakistanis and providing for use of electronic voting machines in the elections.
It was moved by Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan.
According to the bill, the Election Commission of Pakistan shall, with the technical assistance of NADRA and any other authority or agency, enable overseas Pakistanis in prescribed manner subject to secrecy and security to exercise their right to vote during the general elections.
The bill also authorizes the ECP to procure electronic voting machines for casting of votes in general elections. The Joint sitting has also passed the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) bill, 2021.
Moved by Law Minister Farogh Naseem, the bill provides for the right of review and reconsideration in the matter of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to give legal effect to the judgment of the International Court of Justice.
The Indian spy had been sentenced to death by a court in Pakistan back in April 2017. Commander Jadhav was a RAW operative who facilitated numerous acts of terrorism in Pakistan, which resulted in the killings of countless innocent citizens of Pakistan.
Other bills that were passed by the joint sitting included: “The Islamabad Capital Territory Charities Registration, Regulation and Facilitation Bill, 2021”; “The SBP Banking Services Corporation Amendment Bill; The National College of Arts Institute Bill; The Muslim Family Laws Amendment (Amendments in Section 4 & 7), bill; The Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Bill, 2021; Hyderabad Institute for Technical and Management Sciences Bill; Islamabad Rent Restriction Amendment Bill; The Criminal Law Amendment Bill; The Corporate Restructuring Companies Amendment bill; The Financial Institutions Secured Transactions Amendment bill; `the Federal Public Service Commission (Validation of Rules) Bill; The University of Islamabad Bill; The Loans for Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Purposes Amendment Bill; The Companies Amendment Bill; The National Vocational and Technical Training Commission Amendment Bill; Pakistan Academy of Letters Amendment Bill; The Port Qasim Authority Amendment Bill; Pakistan National Shipping Corporation Amendment Bill; Gwadar Port Authority Amendment Bill; The Maritime Security Agency Amendment Bill; The Emigration Amendment Bill and The Privatization Commission Amendment Bill.
On the points of PPP leader Taj Haider regarding census 2017, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said the PTI government is going ahead with a fresh census which will be based on best international practices by using the latest technology. He was confident that the results of this census being carried out after five years will be acceptable to all.
The Minister expressed his surprise over the objections raised by the PPP on census results 2017. He said that it was the responsibility of the provincial governments to conduct the exercise, reminding that it was the PPP and the PML (N) that were in governments in Sindh and the center. He, however, said that the government rejects the PPP reference against the Census 2017.
The Joint sitting also passed “The Covid-19 (Prevention of Hoarding) Bill 2021”, “The Al-Karam International Institute Bill, 2021”, “The Islamabad Capital Territory Authority Food Safety Bill 2021, “The Unani, Ayurvedic And Homoeopathic Practitioners Act”, “The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill” and “The Provincial Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill”, “The Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2021.”