By: Tanveer Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of parliament will assemble today (Monday) with a heavy agenda, which includes a key resolution against rape of minor girls in the country.
Apart from the regular agenda of the House, Senate is also likely to discuss the burning issues like drones strikes, spiralling inflation and foreign policy areas. Today being a private members’ day, the opposition side will likely speak out loudly on the drone strikes that have triggered hue and cry in the country. Although Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which is the most vocal on this issue, has no representation in Senate so far, the other opposition groups will raise their voices on this issue, although mildly because of their’ opposition to the PTI’s decision to record its protest by blocking the NATO supplies to Afghanistan traversing through Pakistan.
The last session of Senate witnessed a showdown between opposition parties, led by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan over the killing of people in incidents of terrorism. However, this will have no bearing on the coming session as the matter was resolved on the last day of the previous session when the opposition agreed to end its separate session in front of parliament building.
The agenda of the new session includes several items, including an important motion, submitted by PPP’s Senator Farhatullah Babar, which seeks discussion on the procedure laid down for appointments of judges in superior judiciary as well as another motion for reconstitution of the National Security Council. The House also has on its agenda the motion of Senator Saeed Ghani which seeks discussion on the alleged irregularities and rigging in general elections held on May 11, 2013.
One of the key resolutions, filed by PPP’s Senator Raza Rabbani, deals with increasing incidents of rape, particularly of minor girls, in the country. The resolution calls upon the federal and provincial governments to amend the laws to provide severe punishment to those found guilty of raping minor girls. Through another resolution, Senator Farhatullah Babar seeks the publishing of names of those judges in superior judiciary who have dual nationality. The House will also take up the Civil Servants Act 1973 when Senator Ilyas Bilour introduces The Civil Servants Amendment Bill 2013.