ISLAMABAD     -   Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator A. Rehman Malik Tuesday took serious notice of the alleged sexual harassment of female employees of Polyclinic Hospital by some male staff of the federal government-run hospital.

The chair expressed annoyance over the matter and ordered a thorough impartial inquiry under the supervision of Chief Commissioner Islamabad Amir Ali Ahmed to fix the responsibility.

Senator Malik remarked that anyone found involved and guilty would not escape justice. He also constituted a sub-committee led by Senator Mian Ateeq Shaikh to investigate the matter and also visit different public sector hospitals to ensure that no such incidents are happening there.

The committee that met under the chair of Senator A. Rehman Malik took up an application from females employees of Islamabad’s Federal Government Polyclinic Hospital. The two female employees on behalf of others females appeared before the committee.

They told the meeting that some male employees of the hospital including a security officer and a supervisor were harassing and threatening them. They alleged that the male employees were in the habit of making different inappropriate demands from then and on refuse, they were being threatened for dire consequences. They told that they have already requested the hospital administration to take action but the administration including the executive director the hospital had refused to take any action.

The committee expressed grief over the loss of more than 40 precious lives in the 24th September earthquake that hit some areas of AJK. It also observed the 14th anniversary of the martyrs of the deadly earthquake of October 8, 2005 and fateha was also offered for the victims. At the outset, Senator Rehman Malik strongly condemned the ongoing Indian forces’ brutalities in Indian Occupied Kashmir and moved a resolution which was unanimously passed by the Committee

“The committee strongly condemns the unprecedented brutalities, 64 days long cruel curfew, violation of human rights, use of force, live ammunition and pellet guns by Indian Armed Forces against unarmed people of Kashmir who are struggling for their legitimate right of self-determination under resolutions duly passed by United Nations Security Council,” reads the resolution.

The committee demands the United Nations to compel the Indian government to immediately lift the curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir and constitute a high powered Inquiry Commission to investigate human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, it said.

The committee also demanded immediate release of all arrested or detained Kashmiri leaders, professionals and activities including the youth.

This resolution sought that the government should move a resolution in the UNSC demanding the announcement of timeline for the plebiscite in Kashmir to ensure the implementation of earlier resolutions duly passed by it.

The committee unanimously adopted that the Prime Minister Imran Khan may call an all parties conference (APC) only on Kashmir issue to make way forward with consensus of all political parties.

Senator A. Rehman Malik also regretted the callous attitude of most Islamic states towards Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and atrocities.

The committee considered two bills, the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019.   The NACTA (Amendment) Bill was passed unanimously with minor amendments. The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Bill was rejected. The committee was of the view that there cannot be diverse punishments for the same crime.

While taking up the public petition of Safe City Islamabad, the Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik was of the view that NADRA must try to accommodate the sacked employees of the project. The matter was pended till next meeting of the committee with the direction to submit a detail report on the matter.  While taking up the public petition by Raja Jamil Abbasi submitted by Senator Auranzeb Khan, regarding unlawful targeted operation conducted in Lakhwal area of Banigala, an outskirt of Islamabad, the meeting directed that a list of all officers involved in the operation should be submitted to it.

Considering suo moto notice taken by Chairman Committee Senator Malik regarding abduction and killing of three children in Chunian, district Kasur, the meeting said that such cases must be non-compoundable. The chair recommended that modern techniques should  be introduced in identification of culprits of such crimes and directed the Ministry of Interior to establish forensic laboratories in each provincial capital.   The committee emphasized that strong legislation must be passed to curb pornography and child abuse.

While considering suo moto notice taken by Senator Malik regarding alarming increase in the number of dengue patients in Islamabad Capital Territory, the chair directed that the government should immediacy declare dengue as public health epidemic.  It was recommended that measures must be taken at counsellor level, and committees at street level should be formed so that areas of vulnerability to dengue may be identified in time and necessary measures can be taken accordingly.  It was recommended that measures must be taken to curb this menace on long term basis to control its further spread. 

The chair directed that the efforts should be made to prepare dengue vaccine in Pakistan and for this purpose; National Institute of Health (NIH) should be tasked. He said that provincial health secretaries must be summoned in the next meeting that a way forward could be framed to avert and control this epidemic.

Senior officials from the Ministry for Interior, Punjab Police, National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA), Capital Development Authority, and Municipal Corporation Islamabad (MCI) attended the meeting besides lawmakers. Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmed Shah was also present in the meeting.