ISLAMABAD: The Protection of Pakistan Bill 2014 has been approved by the National Assembly.
The National Assembly session was chaired by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq where the bill was tabled by Federal Minister Zahid Hamid. The bill had already been approved unanimously by the Senate on June 30.
The bill which will remain in effect for two years was opposed by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) did not take part in voting.
According to the bill, prior to shooting a militant permission will need to be sought from a Grade 15 or equivalent officer. A person can be detained for 60 days and a warrant will not be required, however, a remand will be required from the judicial magistrate. Judicial magistrates will also be informed of the location of detention centres.
Under the bill a person can be sentenced for 20 years while mobile phone records will be considered as admissible evidence. Those using Pakistan’s soil to carry out illegal activities against other countries will be held accountable under this bill.
Opposition leader Khursheed Shah said the PPP would observe the bill and its results over the two year period. PTI leader Shah Mehmood Quershi said his party had reservations over the bill but would not stand in the way of it being passed. Qureshi added that this was an important bill and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was not present in the National Assembly.
MQM leader Farooq Sattar said the serious issue of shoot at sight was still present adding that human rights violations in the bill could still be addressed.
After approval from the National Assembly, the bill will be signed by President Mamnoon Hussain following which it will become a law.