Thursday, 06 September 2012 11:45:52
Cabinet approves Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill,2012,Investigation,
for Fair Trial Bill, 2012
ISLAMABAD, Sep 5 (APP): The federal cabinet on Wednesday
considered and accorded approval to the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment)
Bill, 2012, concerning terrorism financing and also considered
"Investigation for Fair Trial Bill, 2012 besides approving draft
Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2012 and Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill.
The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment Bill, 2012, provides for
addressing shortcomings relating to the terrorism financing
provisions in the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997.
In particular, the Bill strengthens the provisions creating
the offence of terrorism financing; covering all aspects of the
offence in the light of international standards and provides for
more effective measures for law enforcement agencies to investigate
The provisions on freezing, seizing and forfeiture of property
involved in the terrorism financing offence have been strengthened
to ensure that the funding of the terrorism financing offence is
detected and seized after due process of law.
The Cabinet also considered the "Investigation for Fair Trial
Bill, 2012" and gave its approval with certain amendments. The bill
provides for investigation for collection of evidence by means of
modern techniques and devices to prevent and effectively deal with
scheduled offence and to regulate the powers of the law enforcement
and intelligence agencies and to prevent law enforcement and
intelligence agencies from using their powers arbitrarily.
It was felt necessary to regulate the said powers and provide
for their permissible and fair uses in accordance with law and under
proper executive and judicial oversight keeping in view Article 10A
of the Constitution.
It will also provide for admissibility and use of the material
collected during investigation under the present law in judicial
proceedings and all other legal proceedings or processes to ensure
The Cabinet also approved a bill on "Offenses and Penalties
relating to Electricity Amendments in the PPC, CrPC and Electricity
It may be mentioned that the Ministry of Water & Power is
faced with the situation whereby the recoveries affected by the
distribution companies from the consumers are insufficient and
inadequate to meet the cost of generated electricity.
As a result, the Government of Pakistan has to provide subsidy
especially to those distribution companies where leakages, pilferage
and theft are rampant. Primarily, this phenomenon emanates from
fragile legal and enforcement structure.
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012 enumerates offence of
dishonest abstraction, illegal interference or tampering with
transmission and distribution power systems with penalty of rigorous
imprisonment which may extend to three years and fine which may
extend to ten million rupees for transmission offence and two years
and three million rupees, respectively for distribution offence.
Similarly, offence against improper use, interference or
tampering with electric meters by domestic, industrial, commercial
and agricultural consumers have been included. The penalties for
such offence may extend to one year or fine which may extend to, one
million rupees or both in case of domestic consumers, and three
years or fine which may extend to six million rupees or both in case
of industrial, commercial and agricultural consumers.
Moreover, offence for damaging, destroying or destructing the
transmission lines, distribution lines or electric meters have been
specified with punishment of up to seven years imprisonment and with
fine which shall not be less than three million rupees.
The Cabinet also approved to start negotiations on bilateral
MoU on Disaster Management between Republic of Turkey and National
Disaster Management Authority, Government of Pakistan.
Approval was also accorded by the Cabinet to start negotiation
on MoU on disaster management between government of Sri Lanka and
National Disaster Management Authority, Government of Pakistan.
The Cabinet considered the report of the committee examining
the issue of seats of non-Muslims in the legislature. A number of
proposals were made by the members of the Cabinet and it was decided
that the Committee would present its final report to the Cabinet in
the light of the recommendations made by members of the Cabinet.
In his opening remarks at the cabinet meeting Prime Minister
Raja Pervez Ashraf reiterated the Government's resolve to confront
the challenges of energy shortage and the scourge of terrorism with
all available resources of the State.
The Prime Minister said he would like to convey the strong
resolve of the government to overcome the challenges being faced by
the people of Pakistan.
The Prime Minister strongly condemned the recent wave of
terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan
and said, Government sympathized with all the bereaved families and
prayed for early recovery of those injured in these cowardly acts of
He said that such acts could never deter the Government's
resolve to fight the menace of terrorism and culprits of these
terrorist acts would be brought to the book.
He directed that the law enforcement agencies must beef up
security and urged the provincial governments to keep a vigilant eye
on any suspicious activity and evolve mechanism to counter any such
terrorist act with iron hands.
The Prime Minister also asked the provincial government of
Balochistan to implement Supreme Court's verdict in order to improve
law and order situation in the province. He assured that the federal
government would extend all out assistance to the Balochistan
government and all possible measures would be taken for improvement
in law and order situation, not only in Balochistan but throughout
The Prime Minister reiterated that the Government was
committed to resolve all issues including the energy crisis and
sincere efforts were being made to enhance capacity of the power
generation plants which would help in meeting future energy demand.
The Prime Minister said that the credit for present
independent judiciary also goes to Pakistan Peoples Party as it
participated side by side with the Lawyers Community in the movement
for restoration of an Independent Judiciary in 2007 when Musharraf
regime forcibly removed the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of
He said that he appeared personally before the Supreme Court
in the contempt case for allegedly not implementing apex court's
decision in the NRO case. His appearance in the court is a testimony
to respect for the courts, he said. The Government, its coalition
partners, and the Supreme Court jointly want to resolve the issue
pertaining to non-implementation of apex court's verdict in NRO
case, according to the law and the Constitution, the Prime Minister
The Cabinet was informed that power generation and demand-
supply position is improving gradually. The Cabinet directed the
Ministry of Water & Power to make a detailed presentation and
apprise the members of the Cabinet about the steps taken to
eliminate load shedding in the short-term and long-term.
The Prime Minister declared unequivocally that the government
would take all possible measures to overcome the difficulties of the
people on account of power shortage.
It was decided to convene a Cabinet meeting shortly with a
single item agenda to take stock of the measures taken by the
government so far and recommend proposals for further improving the