Meeting of Senate committee on human rights held

Pandemonium in Senate leads to adjournment

ISLAMABAD, Jan 26 (APP): The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights was held at the Parliament House on Thursday under the chairmanship of Senator Waleed Iqbal.

Meanwhile, six bills introduced by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, Senator Fawzia Arshad, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidari, Senator Attaur Rahman, Senator Maulvi Faiz Muhammad and Senator Kamran Murtaza were reviewed.

Senator Waleed Iqbal recalled that in the last meeting, held on January 4, regarding the number of Pakistanis imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay prison, the details of their cases and the matters related to the period of imprisonment, were shared by Foreign Ministry, out of which there was information about Saifullah Paracha and the Rabbani brothers.

Waleed Iqbal recalled that Senator Mushtaq Ahmed then apprised the committee that after 19 years Saifullah Paracha reached his home.

“There is no case against Rabbani brothers, no crime has been proven. They have been imprisoned for years. Another Pakistani Majid Khan is also imprisoned in the same prison, and has been subjected to the worst torture,” he added.

The senator said that Foreign Ministry should provide details to the committee regarding Majid Khan.

In return, one of the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the committee that the process of repatriation of Rabbani brothers was likely to be completed by the end of February.

“All arrangements are completed from our side. The process will be started when the US government informs about their repatriation,” said the foreign ministry’s official.

In response to the question about Majid Khan, the official said that the ministry did not have any information about the said person.

“Majid Khan is among the prisoners whose Pakistani identity could not be found,” the official added.

Senator Irfan-ul-Haque Siddiqui said that a Pakistani woman named Samira, who was imprisoned in India for 4 years, had to remain in prison due to the delay in her identification.

Senator Waleed Iqbal said that the issue of Pakistanis imprisoned abroad was very important.

Regarding obtaining information related to Pakistanis imprisoned abroad and their release, the committee would request Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani for more time.

In response to Senator Mushtaq Ahmed’s question, the committee was apprised that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay jail, was allowed to speak for 300 minutes per month under international laws.

Meanwhile, six different bills related to transgenders were examined in the standing committee meeting.

Senator Waleed Iqbal said the government was waiting for the decision of the Shariat Court regarding these bills and the committee had decided that despite the lack of time, opinions would be obtained from the relevant experts and their position will be heard.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Human Rights told the hearing is scheduled for February 7.

Senator Mushtaq Ahmed said that bills related to transgender can be approved, rejected and amended by the standing committee.

“The Council of Islamic Ideology has declared it un-Islamic twice. We should have effective legislation. In the meeting of the standing committee, it was decided to get an extension regarding the report of these bills by conducting a detailed review of the bill along with the members of the committee, and the opinions of Sharia experts, medical experts will also be obtained,” the senator added.

In today’s meeting, Senators Prof. Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani, Sami Izadi, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Muhammad Tahirbzanjo, Irfan-ul- Haque Siddiqui, Falak Naz, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, Fawzia Arshad, Kamran Murtaza, Taj Haider, Sabir Shah, Prof. Sajid Mir. The secretary of the Ministry of Human Rights and the senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated.