Senate passes two bills, refers Elections Bill to Committee

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 25: The Senate on Friday passed two bills and referred two other
bills including Elections Bill to the relevant committee after their introduction in the House.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed laid the Compulsory Teaching of
the Holy Quran Bill, 2017 and the National School of Public Policy (Amendment) Bill, 2017
which were passed by the House.
He also introduced the Public Interest Disclosures Bill, 2017 and the Elections
Bill, 2017 which were referred to the concerned Standing Committee for further
consideration.
The Compulsory Teaching of the Holy Quran Bill will make teaching of entire Naazrah
Quran in classes/grades I to V and translation of the entire Holy Quran in classes/grades
VI to XII compulsory to the Muslim students of all educational institutions both in public
and private sector in Islamabad Capital Territory (lCT), FATA and also the institutions
owned and controlled by the F’ederal Govemment wherever they may be.
It will make the divine message understood; ensure the repose of society,
peace and tranquility; promote the supreme human values of truth, honesty, integrity,
character building, tolerance, understanding others’ point of view and way of life. It will
lead towards spreading goodness and auspiciousness and towards ending chaos and
uncertainty. This Bill will also help the state to discharge its Constitutional responsibility.
Article 31(2) of the Constitution also requires that the “State shall endeavour, as
respects the Muslims of Pakistan,” to “make the teaching of Holy Quran & Islamiyat
compulsory”.
The National School of Public Policy (Amendment) Bill envisages to bring clarity to
NSPPs functional domain; give representation to Provinces in the Board of NSPP;
reasonably cap the term of office of members of the Board; lay down manner to deal
with disciplinary matters of and involving the Rector; provide for integration of federal
Government’s Training Institutions under the umbrella of NSPP for uniformity of and
improving their standards; make the manner of appointment of the Rector of NSPP more
transparent an to incorporate reasonableness to term of the office of Rector; provide for
manner of appointment and incentives for directing staff and lo talent from market, give
clarity of federal Government’s rule making authority; give operational and financial
autonomy to Civil Services Academy.
The Public Interest disclosure Bill, 2017 is mainly designed to work against financial
crimes, including money-laundering, fraud embezzlement, kickback, commissions, and
other forms of corruption and corrupt practices. It also demands for protection to those
persons (whistle-blowers) disclosing information relating to these crimes in the public
interest.
The Electoral Reforms Bill 2017 unifies eight different laws and a 33-member
parliamentary committee has finalised the Elections Bill 2017 after more than two years.
Total 118 meetings were held, 25 by the main committee and 93 by sub-committees to
draft this law.
After introduction of the Electoral Reforms Bill in the Senate, the Chairman Mian Raza
Rabbani directed to present the report of the committee in the first sitting of next session
of Senate.