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Raza Rabbani declared Rex Tillersonís statement as unacceptable

25 October, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani on Tuesday declared the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement about Pakistan “unacceptable”.

During a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Monday, Tillerson had told the Afghan media that he would pressure Islamabad to take action on the support Taliban and other “terrorist organizations” received in the country.

The US secretary of state had said that Islamabad needed to take a “clear-eyed view of the situation” that it was confronted with “in terms of the number of terrorist organizations that find safe haven inside the country”.

“Tillerson’s statement seems like that of a viceroy’s before they visit a country,” Rabbani said in a Senate session, adding that the US secretary of state’s tone was “inappropriate”. He also said that Tillerson must acquaint himself with the Parliament’s resolution on Pak-US relations.

“It appears that the US secretary of state has put forward some conditions to the prime minister,” he said. He also summoned Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif to appear before the Senate on Wednesday and inform about the “US demands”. He said that the Parliament and Senate had been kept in the dark about the conditions that were laid down by the US.

Meanwhile, Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid assured the House that vacant post of the chairman Council of Islamic Ideology (CCI) would be filled soon.

Responding to a ‘calling attention notice; raised by Sirajul Haq about vacant post of the chairman, he said that former chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani had already completed his three years term and a new chairman would be appointed soon.

The Senate passed the Public Interest Disclosures Bill, 2017, which aims at providing protection to whistle-blowers in corruption cases. The bill was piloted by Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid in the House. The minister said the legislation would help eliminate corruption from the government departments. He said it was also part of the manifesto of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to eliminate corruption and the government has also zero tolerance for corruption.

He said he bill was aimed at providing protection to the person who would point out any corruption or wrongdoing in any department or office. He said the proposed law was in accordance with the international conventions relating to corruption that also recognised the importance of having a law for the protection of whistle-blowers.

Under the proposed law, any person may make a public interest disclosure before the “competent authority” which can be the respective head of the organisation. After receiving the complaint, the head of the organisation “shall conduct a preliminary inquiry into the disclosure to ascertain the identity and credibility of the complainant”.

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