KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party leader and Senator Raza Rabbani on Sunday said that opposition groups in Senate had suggested and conveyed 12 amendments in Pakistan Protection Act, 2014 to the Pakistan Muslim league-Nawaz (PML-N) government.
Addressing a press briefing at PPP media cell along with Senator Saeed Ghani and other PPP leaders, Rabbani said that they were not against this law instead they wanted to safeguard the fundamental rights of people.
He said that senators from Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Awami National Party (ANP), Baloch National Party-Awami (BNP-Awami) and PPP proposed 12 amendments in PPO.
“We also contacted MQM about amendments in the ordinance, but it alone presented its amendments to the government,” he said.
Giving details of proposed amendments, Rabbani said that they had changed the name of law to Protection of Pakistani Citizens, 2014 while implementation of bill was proposed for two years, setting aside three years in the law. “On expiry of two years, the government should present a new bill,” he said.
Rabbani said that the bill should not be implemented in certain parts of the country but it should be enforced across the country without any discrimination with small provinces.
He defined combatant into three categories which include foreign combatants-foreigners involved in taking up arms against Pakistani citizens and institutions; Militant- Pakistani citizen who commit violence against Pakistan, foreign states or any community and third Ordinary Citizens- who are suspected of being involved in a terror activity.
“Foreign combatant can be detained under article 10 while the other militants or suspicious person should be presented before court within 24-hours,’ he said adding that only ordinary citizens are given right to exercise his constitutional right.
He said that judicial oversight was proposed in the amendments to avoid violation of fundamental rights of people while security forces’ right to open indiscriminate fire on any suspicious person was restricted and it was proposed that judicial inquiry should be initiated against any such incident with at least a session judge heading it.
The PPP senator said that they had allowed blanket provision to raid any suspicious activity but it was proposed that the circumstances and material recovered during the raid should be presented before the special magistrate within 24 hours.
“Consultation of chief justice of Pakistan’s with concerned high court chief justices over formation of special courts is proposed,” he said adding that appeal could also be made with high court along with Supreme Court and special courts.
He said that detention period of the accused was lowered upto 45 days with mandatory appearance of accused before the court after every 15 days.
It was also proposed that high court and Supreme Court judges should be made aware of the reasons of arrest and detention place of the accused and if they deemed fit, they could also publicize it.
In case of new rules and amendments from government in the law, it should be presented before the joint sitting of the parliament within 10 days for review.
“Presence of safe houses should be deleted,” he said adding that they had proposed to shift burden of proof on prosecution unless the accused was caught red-handed preparing suicide jackets or carrying out a terror activity.
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