Govt blasted for putting death penalty on hold
21 August, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The suspension of death penalty by the government drew criticism in the lower house of parliament on Tuesday when lawmakers from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) voiced concern over government's move to put on hold the capital punishment.
Lawmakers from Pakistan People's Party (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), however, stressed for improving the investigation process before going for death penalty to save 'innocent lives'.
The atmosphere of the house remained lacklustre due to thin presence from both opposition and treasury sides particularly the ministers, receiving criticism from the members for exhibiting non-seriousness towards the proceedings. Mohammd Ali Khan of PTI, speaking on a point of order, diverted attention of the house towards suspension of death penalty by the government and questioned under what law the government had put on hold this penalty.
JUI-F Maulana Amir Zaman noted that government could not put on hold this penalty as it was ordained in the holy Quran and if not implemented, it would amount to committing a sin. PPP's Dr Afzal Peecho, however called for bringing improvement in the investigation system so that no innocent person could lose his life because of poor investigation system.
"The militants should be hanged. But innocent ones should not fall pray to it due to shortcomings in the investigation", she urged. MQM's Salman Mujahid Baloch also talked about death penalty and said no sentences including life imprisonment and death penalty could be granted simultaneously.
Earlier the house could take up only two items on the long list of order of the day having 19 private bills, motions and resolutions when speaker deferred and dropped most of the items.
Seema Mohiuddin Jameeli of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), in her motion moved on the private members day, asked the government to enact laws for checking professional beggary in the Federal Capital. PML-N's Dr Muhammad Afzal Khan Dhandla said 95 percent beggars in the country were professional. A country-wise survey should be conducted about the professional and deserving beggars. A rehabilitation centre should be established to help the deserving, who could also be provided help from the Income Support Programme, while the professionals should be banned, he added.
Speaking on a motion on beggary, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed charged up the silent house when he criticised the government and dubbed it as beggar that approaches IMF and other financial institutions rather than breaking the 'begging bowl'. The sarcastic remarks levelled at the government made treasury side raged and they objected to lengthy speech of Sheikh Rasheed on a point of order.
Khawaja Sohail Mansoor said private media should be allowed to cover the live proceedings of the House so that the people could evaluate the performance of their elected representatives.