NA: (Meeting of CCI will be convened soon: Riaz Pirzada)

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada informed the National Assembly on Thursday that a meeting of Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee will be held up to December 20 to finalize the agenda for Council of Common Interests (CCI).

He hoped that after the finalization of the agenda the meeting of the CCI will be convened soon. Replying to points of orders raised by Shireen Mazari, Shafqat Mahmood, Shazia Marri, Saman Sultana Jafri, the Minister said he will approach the Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to brief the House on Heart of Asia Conference, bilateral meetings and agreement between Pakistan and India to resume dialogue process.

Speaking on a point of order, Maulana Fazlur Rehman hoped that Heart of Asia Conference will help bring peace in the region. He said it is big progress that Pakistan has again offered to Afghanistan for facilitation of talks between Afghan government and Taliban.

He pointed out that Simla Agreement cannot restrict Pakistan to raise the Kashmir dispute on international fora because UN has passed resolutions on the issue. He demanded further strengthening of Parliamentary Kashmir Committee to highlight the Kashmir issue.

The National Assembly on Thursday also passed “The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2015”. Moved by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid. The bill provides to amend the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.

The mover told the House that the legislation is necessary in the prevailing circumstances. Replying to another calling attention notice moved by Dr Nafisa Shah and others regarding continuous downfall of textile industry in the country, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan told the House that certain parts of the textile industry are doing well. However, he said the spinning sector is under challenge.

Khurram Dastgir told the House that there is decrease in cotton production in the country because no research has been made on cotton seeds for the last 15 to 20 years. The House will now meet today (Friday).