ISLAMABAD - National Assembly on Wednesday passed the Elections Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009 thus unanimously abolished graduation condition for contesting national as well as provincial polls. The bill was passed in pursuance of the Supreme Courts judgment dated April 21, 2008 in which the apex court had declared as null and void the provision of Article 8A of the conduct of General Election Order, 2002 (Chief Executive Order No 7 of (2002) and clause (cc) of sub-section (1) of section 99 of the Representation of the people Act, 1976 on account of their being inconsistent with Articles 17 and 25 of the Constitution. Taking part in the proceedings of the National Assembly, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada on a point of order said that the Ministers for Interior and Foreign Affairs should give in camera briefing to the House on law and order situation particularly regarding Balochistan issue and the foreign policy of Pakistan. Responding to the Point of Order, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said, We are not wearing bangles and can meet the ulterior designs of India and Afghanistan in a befitting manner. He said that he had told the Afghan government during his visit to Afghanistan that its soil was being used against Pakistan. He said that he had given in camera briefing to Senate and was ready to give such kind of briefing to the Lower House also. Rehman Malik also said that he was always available for in camera briefing on national security. Everyone should keep in mind that we better know how to defend our territory, he said. Malik said that the Afghan President had assured that his countrys land would not be used against Pakistan. Referring to Balochistan situation, Interior Minister said that a committee was formulated to give its recommendations to improve the Balochistan situation. He said that injustices were done with the Balochistan province in the past, however the PPP-led coalition government would give due rights to the provinces and would compensate Balochistan for those injustices. He said that the government needed political and national support as provided for military operation in Swat and Malakand. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he had given seven-hour long briefing to Parliamentary Committee on National Security a few days earlier. He said that he was ready to respond to the queries of any parliamentarian and satisfy him in the House regarding foreign policy of the country. Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Naveed Qamar said that the government was always ready to brief the parliamentarians on all national issues. The government believes in national consensus, and we want to formulate a comprehensive policy in consultation with the parliamentarians, he said adding that the government would be forthcoming whenever it would be asked to brief the parliamentarians on national issues. Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza informed the House that parliamentarians would exchange national flags and pinning of badges on August 13, in connection with the 62nd Independence Day. Unveiling the decision of the House Business Advisory Committee meeting, the Speaker said that as per the tradition, national anthem would be played besides exchange of flags and badges among parliamentarians adding that the event would be transmitted live by Pakistan Television. She said that Leader of the House Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani would exchange pinning of badges with Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, while the parliamentary leaders of all the political parties would also pin badges at one another. The speaker said that each parliamentary leader would be given time for speeches on the occasion. She directed the Chief Whips of the parliamentary parties to finalise the programme with mutual consultation, as the event would be broadcast live. In the House Business Advisory Committee meeting, it was also decided that a souvenir shop would be set up at the Parliament House on the lines of Parliaments of United States of America and the United Kingdom. The committee decided that the ongoing session of the House would continue till August 21. The National Assembly also passed a bill to amend the Anti-dumping Duties Ordinance, 2000 which empowered an existing tribunal to entertain appeals against the decisions of the National Tariff Commission (NTC). The ordinance decrees the creation of an appellate tribunal to hear appeals against the decision of the NTC. According to the ordinance, such a tribunal is to be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court assisted by two members. Given the high costs involved in establishing and maintaining such a tribunal, an amendment in its Section 64 has been made to empower an existing tribunal to entertain appeals against the decision of the NTC if need arises. This amendment will give the federal government the policy space to empower an existing tribunal to hear appeals against the NTC. The government can also appoint a serving or retired, or is qualified to be, a judge of the Supreme Court as the head of the tribunal who may be assisted by two experts when an appeal is filed. The bill was presented by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Naveed Qamar. The House also passed another bill to amend the Cotton Standardisation Ordinance, 2002. The board of directors of the Pakistan Cotton Standards Institute (PCSI) will now be headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Textile Industry and will also include a representative of the ministry for the smooth functioning of the official business of PCSI.