Senate tells govt to prepare dossiers on Indian interference
ISLAMABAD: The upper house of parliament on Monday unanimously passed a resolution calling on the government to complete a dossier about Indian interference in the country and send it to other countries and international institutions.
The resolution, moved by ruling party Senator Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qayyum but taken up by Senator Lt. General (retd) Salahuddin Tirmizi, was passed during a brief session of the Senate on Monday after the opposition walked out protesting the absence of the prime minister.
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It calls for preparing “a full dossier about the Indian interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs fomenting unrest, instability and terrorism”.
It also calls for sending these dossiers to “key international countries and institutions.”
The Senate’s appeal comes over two months after RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav was arrested in Balochistan on March 3 after crossing over into Pakistan from Iran and attempting to meet with some separatist leaders.
Pakistan has already handed over evidence regarding Yadav’s arrest to key world powers, including the US and UK, but they have yet not responded.
Quota for women in SC
Earlier, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Zaheeruddin Babar Awan tabled a bill (Supreme Court (Number of Judges) (Amendment) Bill, 2016) calling for at least a quarter of judges in the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan to be women.
“Women are proportionally taken in every sphere of life including civil services, district governments, provincial assemblies, the National Assembly and in the Senate. Notwithstanding that fact, women are still deprived of their share in the third and the most important branch of the government, the judiciary,” Awan argued in his bill, pointing out that no woman judge had been appointed to the superior judiciary in 70 years.
He demanded a 33 per cent quota for women, but stopped short of demanding an increase in the strength of the Supreme Court.
Law and Justice Minister Zahid Hamid stated that the government fully supports the objective of Article 34, but he underlined Article 177 of the Constitution which lays down qualifications of judges in the SC.
“We look forward to the day when the first female judge is elevated to the apex court. It has not happened as yet as there aren’t adequate numbers of young women entering the profession,” Hamid said, arguing that once more women enter the legal profession and receive adequate training and gain relevant experience they will be alleviated per merit.
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“The point is, if the judges are not available, then the seats will remain vacant and of course that will lead to even more backlog in the apex court,” the minister said noting that the bill is much too premature.
While the ruling party opposed the bill, it was supported by the whole of opposition parties as well as the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and National Party in the treasury benches.
The Senate adopted another resolution to hand over N-50 and N-25 to National Highways and Motorway Police while special reports of the Standing Committee on Defence about the visit and meetings of the body at the Pakistan Navy installations in Karachi, Ormara and Gwadar were presented in the House.