Sindh assembly passes witness protection bill


KARACHI: The provincial assembly of Sindh here Wednesday passed unanimously the Sindh Witness Protection Bill 2013.

The bill provides for protection to witnesses to enable them to give evidence in criminal proceedings in the Province of Sindh.

Sindh minister of law and parliamentary affairs Dr Sikandar Mandhro mentioning the statement of objects and reasons said in view of increasing terrorist activities in the province, the witnesses in criminal proceedings, due to fear of their lives do not come forward to give evidence against the accused persons. To encourage the witnesses and protect them and their families, it is expedient to establish a witness protection program by enacting this law.

The house adopted six resolutions. MQM MPA Muhammad Dilawar Qureshi MQM and others tabled a resolution that the house wishes Happy Birthday to MQM leader Quaid-e-Tehreek Altaf Hussain. Irum Azeem Farouque and other MPAs of MQM in their resolution condemned the rape of five years old girl in Lahore and a recent child rape case in Chhachhro, Sindh. Rubina Saadat Qaimkhani and other MPAs of PPPP in their resolution condemned a recent attack on Pak Army convey in Dir and martyrdom of Pak army officers. A similar resolution was also tabled by Irum Azeem Farooque and others MPAs of MQM. Khairunnisa Mughal and other MPAs of PPP tabled a resolution to oppose conspiracies to create another province in Sindh. Sharmila Sahebah Faruqui and other MPAs of PPP tabled a resolution to adopt one dish system in ceremonies. However, all these resolutions were passed by the house.

Earlier the house met one hour late than its scheduled time with deputy speaker Syeda Shehla Raza in chair. There were three leave applications, which were granted. The deputy speaker announced the panel of four chairmen: Murad Ali Shah, Ghulam Qadir Chandio,, Mehtab Akbar Rashdi and Khawaja Izharul Hassan.

A draft of new Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh was laid before the house. The law minister said the Sindh Assembly was amending its Rules of Procedure after 40 years. The constitution of the standing committees and other committees as laid down in the rules was differed to Monday.

MQM MPA Jamal Ahmed tabled a privilege motion against raid of law enforcers on his public contact office in Orangi Karachi. Six members spoke on it. The law minister however opposed the motion and later the Chair gave ruling terming the privilege motion Out of Order.

MQM MPAs Khawaja Izharul Hassan, Irum Azeem Farooque, Heer Soho, Saifuddin Khalid and Muhammad Hussain Khan tabled an adjournment motion to discuss the deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi and arrest of former MPA of MQM Nadeem Hashmi. However, the movers did not further press the motion as former MPA of MQM Nadeem Hashmi was already released.

The house nominated two members – Ashfaque Ahmed Mangi and Imdad Pitafi on the Panel of Pakistan Railway Advisory Committee Karachi.

Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah also attended the sitting. Later, the speaker adjourned the session to Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 9:30am.

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