Senate: Upper House witness introduction of seven private member bills

Islamabad: The 100th session of the Upper House witnessed the introduction of seven private member bills, adoption of a resolution and several debates on matters of public importance while low attendance and ministerial absence was witnessed throughout the session, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Preliminary report on Tuesday.

Seven private member bills on the agenda were introduced and referred to the relevant standing committees. Three bills relate to the protection of human rights; they include the Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill, 2013, the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and the Domestic Workers (Employment Rights) Bill, 2013. Two of these bills specifically addressed women rights.

One of the introduced bills places a bar on civil servants from serving international organizations unless “deputed on behalf of the government”.

Another bill, the twenty second constitutional amendment bill prohibits the dual nationals from serving in armed forces, judiciary and from elected representation. In an attempt to promote good governance and economic development, another two bills emphasize the privatization of state entities in a transparent manner and the constitution of an autonomous body of industrial sector to ensure effective representation of industries of Pakistan.

Additionally, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 (Ordinance No.X of 2013) was presented during the fourth sitting.

The House debated matters of public interest on four Motions under Rule 218 regarding the current political and security situation in the country with particular reference to Balochistan, FATA and the recent sectarian riot in Rawalpindi, the alleged irregularities in Elections 2013, the working and recent pronouncements of the Council of Islamic Ideology, and the need to shift the headquarters of the State Bank from Karachi to Islamabad:.

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