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Key bills to be presented in NA today

Key bills to be presented in NA today


ISLAMABAD: The Constitution (Twenty-eighth Amendment) Bill, 2017 and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to revive the military courts for a two-year period and the Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Bill, 2016 to enhance the scope of inquiry commission would be presented in National Assembly on Monday for passage.

According to sources, these bills are included in legislative agenda for business of the house on Monday. They said that treasury and opposition members would discuss the bills relating to military courts and these are likely to be passed with some amendments on Monday or Tuesday.

The government already introduced ‘The Constitution (Twenty-eight Amendment) Bill, 2017’ and ‘The Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2016’ in National Assembly on March 10, 2017. Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq did not refer these bills to the concerned standing committees as the house adopted a motion under rule 122 of procedure and conduct of business moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.

At the time of introduction, the opposition parties including Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPP-P) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), and the government’s frontline ally Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) expressed their reservations and opposed the bills.

However, the political parties have agreed to revive military courts for another two-year term during a meeting of leaders of parliamentary parties, chaired by Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq on March 16.

The government accepted four out of nine proposals of the PPP-P.

The sources said that the words “misuse the name of religion or a sect” have been emitted from “The Constitution (Twenty-eight Amendment) Bill, 2017. Jamiat Uleama-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had seriously expressed his reservations on these words.

The National Assembly passed the government-sponsored ‘The Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Bill, 2016’ on November 30, 2016 and referred to the Senate. The Senate passed it on March 8, 2017 with four amendments.

Under the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the Senate has sent the bill back to the National Assembly for its passage. Now, if the National Assembly passes the bill with the amendments made by the Senate, it will become a law after a formal assent by the President of Pakistan; otherwise, a joint session of the parliament would be summoned for the approval of bill.

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