Pak Parliament looks to leash intel agencies

The resolution,moved by the opposition PML-N,was not opposed by the government.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Islamabad | Published: March 16, 2012 1:08 am

Pakistan’s Parliament has sought enactment of a comprehensive law to regulate the functioning of intelligence and security agencies,and to stop practices like extra-judicial killings and detention of persons without charge.

The National Assembly or lower house on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a comprehensive law and a framework to regulate the intelligence and security agencies. The resolution,moved by the opposition PML-N,was not opposed by the government.

The House approved the setting up of an eight-member committee comprising lawmakers from the treasury and opposition benches to monitor progress on the issue of “missing persons”,or those detained without charge by security agencies. The House authorised the Speaker to set up the committee in consultation with the PM and the Leader of Opposition.

Rights groups have alleged that hundreds of people have been detained by the agencies,particularly in Balochistan,but these charges have been rejected by the government and the security establishment.

The opposition said the resolution was prompted by the plight of families of “missing persons” and the “grave allegations” levelled against agencies. The resolution demanded that the government should implement,without further delay,the SC orders,and the recommendations of an inquiry commission on enforced disappearances. The resolution called for enactment of legislation to resolve the issue of missing persons.

Such legislation would also be in line with a recommendation made by a commission that had investigated the abduction and murder of journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad last year. The commission had recommended the adoption of a “comprehensive framework law to regulate the role and functioning of the intelligence and security agencies”. Journalists’ groups alleged that Shahzad was abducted by an intelligence agency after he wrote about the infiltration of the Navy by al-Qaeda.

The National Assembly also resolved that a committee of lawmakers would prepare a report after consulting families of missing persons and representatives of security agencies,and submit it to the House in two months.

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