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Adjournment Motion in Senate on custodial death in Karachi

Islamabad May 5, 2016: The PPP today submitted an adjournment motion in the Senate to discuss ‘the implications of custodial death’ at the hands f a law enforcing agency in Karachi the other day. The motion was submitted by Senator Farhatullah Babar.

An MQM activist Aftab Ahmad, also a close aide of MQM leader Farooq Sattar, allegedly died due to severe torture while in the custody of Rangers in Karachi on May 3.

Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the incident had bought into focus the extra judicial and custodial deaths not only in Karachi but also in Balochistan and highlights the need for adopting Anti Torture legislation at the earliest.

Extraordinary powers given to law enforcing agencies in the name of fighting terror must also have corresponding checks and oversight over the law enforcing agencies to prevent their misuse.

In view of the conflicting statements made by Rangers and the doctors about when and how Aftab had died it is necessary to hold an impartial judicial investigation into the matter. An inquiry by the law enforcing agency accused of custodial death will lack credibility.

He said there was also a need to review section 11 EEEE in the ATC 1997 which disallows judicial discretion in the matter of detention of suspects for up to 90 days without any oversight mechanism.

He said that the anti torture bill was passed unanimously by the senate in March last year and is pending with the National Assembly and that the Party will seek its early adoption

The Bill defines “Torture” as inflicting physical or mental pain upon another person in custody, for obtaining any information or a confession or harassing and molesting a woman for this purpose.

The Bill prescribes life imprisonment and fine of three million rupees for custodial death or custodial rape and a minimum of 5 years in jail and fine up to one million rupees for torture. The amount of fine recovered will be paid to the victim.

No female shall be detained to extract information regarding the whereabouts of a person accused of any offence. A female can be taken into custody only by a female public servant and not by any male.

Any statement obtained as a result of torture will be inadmissible as evidence.

Every offence under it is cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable.

A state of war, emergency, political instability or an order of a superior authority shall not constitute a defence against torture.

Senator Farhatullah Babar said that Pakistan signed the Convention against Torture in 2008 and ratified it in 2010 during the PPP government. The Bill passed by the Senate in March last year was the enabling legislation in this regard.

He said that failure to adopt anti torture legislation would be inconsistent with our signing and ratification of Convention against Torture and also invite global criticism at a time when Pakistan needs to retain the GSP plus status. Worse still the absence of anti torture law is a sort of license to the law enforcing agencies to torture and even kill suspects while in custody.


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Bilawal Bhutto urges public revolt against Jirga system

KARACHI, May 5: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party said that people should revolt against Jirga system, which is deciding lives and deaths of the innocent and unarmed people, including women and children. “Brutal murder of Ambreen ordered by a Jirga in Abbottabad is the worst example how the Jirgas are trying to hold hostage the society to create a ruthless and inhuman world,” PPP Chairman stated while condemning the incident.
In a press statement, he said that tormentors and killers of Ambreen should not any excuse to go off the hook. Both prosecution and judiciary need to play their responsibilities and help eradicating the menace of Jirgas and Karo-Kari (honour-killigs) and set an example of punishments to the culprits.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the PPP has always been raised voice against the honor-killings and Jirgas and has marked these evil incidents as totally unacceptable.
He expressed sympathy with the family of poor girl Ambreen and assured them solidarity.


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Okara Military Farms: Sen. Taj Haider demands for peasants’s right of ownership

Karachi. 4.6.2016: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Taj Haider while showing solidarity with the peasants of highly rich and fertilized agricultural land in district Okara in Punjab said they have been harvesting this land even before the creation of Pakistan and hence they are the sole legal owners of the land.
In a statement issued here Wednesday, Senator Haider said that the Anjuman Muzarieen Punjab has always raised its voice against atrocities of these peasants of Okara Military Farms and has struggled for the legal ownership of these peasants of Okara Military Farms. Even women have also playd a pivotal role in this struggle.
He said that among more than a million peasants are also Christians and they are struggling for their rights with great manifest of unity. It is rule that the peasants harvesting on Okara Military Land for over a century is itself a certificate of their ownership of this precious land but the Military Farms management has been using all crooked methods for evicting this land from the peasants and the peasants have been booked in fake criminal cases while many have been enforced to disappear.
Senator Haider said that the Okara Military Farms land is the property of Punjab Board of revenue but the Punjab Government does not want to accept their right of ownership on this land.
he demanded that the [peasants should immediately be given the right of ownership of their land and those in enforced disappearances should immediately be recovered.


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We are harbingers of democratic values & we shall stick to it to promote freedom of press: @BBhuttoZardari

ISLAMABAD, May 03: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party has stated that his Party is the pioneer of introducing freedom of press in Pakistan and reiterated commitment to the freedom of press and freedom of expression without any compromise on its principles.

“Dictators always gagged the press. They even resorted to attacks on journalists and media houses but PPP always stood by the journalist community and fought together with them the dictatorial regimes and their draconian anti-press laws,” he said in his statement on the World Press Freedom Day being observed today across the globe.

He said that PPP leaders, workers and journalists waged a shoulder-to-shoulder struggle for democracy and press freedom ending up them in prisons and police lock-ups.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed concern over the lack of security to the media persons, especially in the terrorist-hit regions and asked the Federal and Provincial government to ensure fool-proof security to the working journalists and also welfare of their community.

PPP Chairman said that PPP has proved to be the most tolerant political party in Pakistan, which always respected the honest and constructive criticism and never resorted to violence even when its top leadership was subjected to ruthless media trials and defamations. “We are harbingers of democratic values & we shall stick to it to promote freedom of press,” he added.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari assured the journalist fraternity that PPP will always lead from the front in any struggle against any move aimed at muzzling and gagging the press and media in Pakistan.


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Bilawal Bhutto Zardari instructed party leaders to extend assistance to Okara Military Farm workers

Islamabad, 03 May 2016: General Secretary Pakistan Peoples Party Sardar Latif Khan Khosa and former Chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari called on PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Zardari House Islamabad on Tuesday.

Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari instructed both leaders to travel to Okara and extend all possible help and assistance to the farm workers who have been forced to give up their propriety rights. Police had registered terrorism cases against dozens of farm tenants in Okara after they staged protest for their rights.

PPP Chairman instructed Latif Khosa and Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari to leave for Okara immediately to meet farm tenants and extend legal help to them. He also asked them to form committees to allay difficulties face by the farm tenants. He said that these poor farm workers have been tilling this land for ages and the land never belonged to the security forces. He said the PPP has been raising the issue at all available forums and will continue supporting the rights of farm workers in Okara and elsewhere.

A delegation of Okara farm’s tenants had called on PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on 22nd April 2016 to apprise him of their victimization by the hands of government’s institutions.


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Former President Asif Ali Zardari condoled the death of mother of Hasan Murtaza Shah

Islamabad, 03 May 2016: Former President of Pakistan and President Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians Asif Ali Zardari condoled the death of mother of former member Punjab Assembly from Chiniot Hasan Murtaza Shah who passed away on Monday.

Former President in his condolence message said that he was saddened and grieved to hear the news of the death of mother of Hasan Murtaza Shah. Death of a family member is a great loss but death of a mother is a great tragedy for the family, he said.

He prayed to Almighty Allah to grant eternal peace for the departed soul and strength and fortitude to family members to bear this irreparable loss with equanimity.


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PPP Parliamentary Committee on Panama Leaks called on Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Islamabad, 02 May 2016: Parliamentary committee formed by the chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to coordinate with other political parties for a united strategy on Panama leaks called on Chairman PPP at Zardari House Islamabad.

Members of the committee who called on PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari included Opposition leader in Senate Chaudhry Aitezaz Ahsan, Opposition leader in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Naveed Qamar MNA, Aijaz Jakhrani MNA and Senator Saleem Mandviwala. PPP Parliamentarians Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman and Political Secretary to the Chairman PPP Jameel Soomro were also present on the occasion.

Senator Aitezaz Ahsan and Syed Khurshid Shah apprised the PPP Chairman on the progress in coordination and consultation with other political parties on the subject of Panama leaks.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari instructed the committee to consult all political parties in Parliament and adopt a united strategy on Panama leaks. He said a consensus among political parties of opposition is essential for setting up Terms of Reference (TORs) for Panama Leaks’ investigation and these TORs must be decided by the Parliament. He also directed to submit a report as soon as a consensus strategy is evolved.

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