ISLAMABAD - The government, in yesterday’s National Assembly proceedings, expressed its willingness to get controversial ‘Anti-Honour Killing Bill’ passed during the joint session with the consensus of all major political forces.

“The bill was in the agenda of the joint session of the parliament for proper legislation, but is still pending as religio-political parties opposed it,” said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, responding to a point of order.

Dar said the government was willing to get controversial ‘Anti-Honour Killing’ passed in the joint sitting, besides continuing efforts to muster support of all political parties.

Shahzadi Umarzadi Tiwana, a treasury lawmaker, said there was a need for proper law to deal with the honour killing issue. “Gang-rape incidents are increasing with each passing day,” she said, citing killing of two persons recently for ‘honour’.

The finance minister said the matter about depriving Malakand division of its status as ‘tax-free zone’ would be resolved with the consultation of the Ministry of Law and Justice. He was responding to the matter raised by Jamaat-e-Islami parliamentary leader Sahibzada Tariq Ullah.

Shah Jee Gul Afridi, on a point of order, said there was a need to call a joint session of the parliament to resolve the issue of Fata areas. “We are under political agents. This system has increased ignorance in the area. Fata reforms should be introduced as early as possible,” he said.

Ghalib Khan Jamal said the people of Fata have rendered sacrifices. It will be a good step to ensure reforms to streamline the system in the area,” he averred.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab said the government has earmarked funds for Fata areas, which would be enhanced in the upcoming financial year.

On the last day of the proceedings, the house witnessed very low presence of lawmakers from both sides of aisle. The government side, ostensibly taking benefit of thin presence and despite lack of quorum, managed the passage of ‘The Patents (Amendment) Bill, 2015’ presented by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab.

The minister of state presented before the house a report of Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan regarding ‘The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2016’.

Two reports of standing committees on information technology and telecommunication and interior and narcotics control were also presented in the house. A report of Federal Public Service Commission for the year 2014 was also presented.

Earlier, the house was informed that the government has banned all pesticides having potential to damage human health. Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, responding to a question, said the government was collecting data of child labour in cotton fields. “This data will be helpful for curbing child labour,” he added.