19th Amend Bill gets Senate's nod - Pakistan Today

19th Amend Bill gets Senate’s nod

ISLAMABAD – The Upper House of parliament on Thursday passed the 19th Amendment Bill with all 80 votes in favour and none against it.
The National Assembly could not pass the bill unanimously as MNA Kashmala Tariq voted against it.
Senators Hafiz Rasheed Ahmed and Muhammad Idress Safi had jointly proposed an amendment in Clause 246 of the bill seeking inclusion of 25 villages of Charsadda and Peshawar districts in the Tribal Areas. However, the House rejected the amendment. Ahmed, as a mark of protest, voted against Clause 2 of the bill during the second reading.
Parliamentary Reforms Committee Chairman Senator Raza Rabbani opposed the amendment and said the villages were attached to the settled districts and could not be included in the Tribal Areas. He said the amendment was out of the scope of the bill, adding that including any area of the settled districts to the Tribal Area needed a separate procedure.
Senator Haroon Khan, through an amendment, proposed that the agricultural sector should be taxed. However, Rabbani said as the concurrent list had been abolished, the subject was provincial now. Upon this, Khan did not press for the amendment.
Giving his ruling, Senate Chairman Farooq Naik said both the amendments were beyond the scope and limit of the 19th Amendment Bill. The bill comprises seven clauses and primarily deals with the appointment of judges in the superior courts.
Explaining the amendments in various articles of the constitution, the prime minister’s advisor, Rabbani said parliament respected the independence of the judiciary and it endeavoured that all state organs worked within their constitutional ambit. The bill will become part of the constitution after it gets the president’s assent.
Earlier, Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said some elements tried to exclude clauses relating to Islamic laws from the constitution but his party failed the attempt. Fouzia Fakhruz Zaman said granting immunity to a specific person was against Islamic injunctions. She demanded creation of new provinces in the country. Senators Talha Mahmood and Muhammad Ali Durrani also called for creation of new provinces.
Dr Abdul Malik said a lobby was active to halt the implementation on the 18th Amendment. He demanded implementation on the bill in letter and spirit.
Senator Shahid Bughti criticised the government for not taking to task the killers of Akbar Bughti. Senator SM Zafar called for uniformity in syllabi across the country. Senator Dr Babar Awan told the House that appointment of judges in the Islamabad High Court would be completed by January next year.

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