Senate Approves NAB Amendment Bill Amid Protest  by Opposition

The Senate approved on Friday the National Accountability Bureau Amendment Ordinance 2021 and the Journalists Protection Bill along with a few other significant bills amid protest by the opposition.

Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani chaired the Senate meeting held at the Parliament House.

Minister for Law, Senator Faraogh Naseem, presented the NAB Amendment Bill in the Senate as a supplementary agenda. The protesting opposition tore down the agenda copies. The Chair asked for counting. There were 34 votes in favor of the bill while 28 votes were against it. The Senate passed the NAB Amendment Bill amidst the prevailing noise by the opposition members who surrounded the Chairman Senate dice and threw the bill copies.

Federal Minister for Human Rights, Shirin Mazari, introduced the Justice System for Adolescents Amendment Bill 2021 in the House. The Chairman Senate referred the bill to the relevant committee.

A bill seeking to protect the journalists called as Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill, 2021, was also passed in the Senate, while it was also opposed by the opposition members.

Meanwhile, members of the government chanted slogans of “Respect the Vote” and “Long live Imran Khan”, while the opposition raised slogans of “Rubber Stamp Parliament”.

The House also passed another two bills, including: “The Higher Education Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2021”, “The Higher Education Commission (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021”.

Earlier, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Khan, said that the kidney and liver transplantation facility would be provided to people at government expenses in the near future.

The minister said that from 2013 to 2018, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government launched the health cards program in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Initially, it was up to Rs 500,000, however now it has been increased to Rs. 1 million, he added.

The minister was responding to a question of Senator Seemee Ezdi about the laws framed for regulating the medical profession in Pakistan and controlling the acts of healthcare providers.

He said the Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority (IHRA) was established in 2018 under the Islamabad Healthcare Regulations Act, 2018 to regulate the healthcare sector and ensure the provision of quality healthcare services in Islamabad.

Ali Muhammad Khan informed the House that the government is coordinating with the US authorities for the repatriation of Saifullah Paracha and some other Pakistanis from Guantanamo Bay. Responding to another question, he said seven new educational institutes will be constructed in Islamabad territory. He said 230 new classrooms were built in 31 institutes of the capital.

The minister said the federal government provided over Rs. 39 billion to public sector universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the last three years.

Later the chairman prorogued the session for an indefinite period.

Faiz Paracha is a seasoned broadcast journalist with over 15 years’ experience in reporting and e...