The Senate human rights committee today adopted The Criminal law (Amendment) Bill 2015 to provide for protection of the children after some discussion on whether amendments in PPC was a federal or provincial subject after the 18th Amendment and whether the provinces had been consulted in the matter.
The Committee also took up for consideration the Actions in Aid of Civil Power Regulation 2011 to oversee the implications of its implementation. The representative of SAFRON said that his ministry was concerned only with the legislation and its implementation was the responsibility of law enforcing agencies. However the Committee decided that SAFRON as the lead ministry should seek the views of the concerned ministries on the implementation of the Regulation and inform the Committee at its next meeting directing also that the Minister SAFRON should also be present at the next meeting.
Farhatullah Babar then asked that the ministry should come prepared at the next meeting with answers to some specific questions. The specific questions he asked pertained to the number of those detained with effect from Feb1, 2008 the date from which the 2011 regulation was given retroactive effect and the status of the cases against them whether convicted, acquitted or in appeals and whether their cases were dealt with in military courts or in terrorism or ordinary courts.
He asked whether the governor KPK had conferred any additional powers upon the armed forces or amended the schedule to the regulation, or delegated his powers to any officer and what powers delegated and to whom, as provided for in the Regulation itself.
The Regulation binds the government to set up oversight boards he said and asked whether such oversight boards had been set up to periodically review the condition of internment
centers and take notice of complaints of degrading treatment and torture of the detainees. He also asked whether federal government had notified rules which it was supposed to make to implement the regulation. The representative of SAFRON said that they will give replies to these specific questions at the next meeting.
Farhatullah Babar also took up in the any other time the issue of disappearance of human rights activist Rizwan Niazi from Faislabad in November 2015 allegedly by 20-30 people wearing the elite force uniforms and the complaint of a woman from Balochistan accusing a law enforcing agency of keeping her two sons in its custody since February 2014 without any legal proceedings against them allegedly at the behest of a powerful politician. After some discussion the Committee decided to refer both the cases to the National commission on Human Rights for investigation and redressal of grievances of petitioners. He recalled that the Senate acting as a committee of the whole on legal reforms last month had also taken up the issue of enforced disappearances.
The Senate has directed the government to give its views on the recommendations made some time back by the Human Rights Committee on how to address the issue of enforced disappearances that also includes legislation to bring in the state agencies under some oversight. Until the institutional mechanism for addressing enforced disappearances was worked out these individual cases of missing persons should be referred to the NCHR which the Committee endorsed and referred it to the Commission.