ISLAMABAD (NNI): The Senate was informed on Friday that steps are being taken to upgrade forecasting equipment and network of the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).
Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal told the House during question hour that PMD has been included in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework to increase capacity of the forecasting capability of the department.
To a question, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan said that Pakistan's exports to Central Asian countries have been doubled in the last three years. He said that roadshows were organized in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan to introduce Pakistani products in the Central Asian markets.
To another question, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad told the House that the government is taking every step for the capacity building of the Airport Security Force to ensure security. The Senate today passed "The Pakistan Climate Change Bill, 2017". The bill moved by Minister for Law Zahid Hamid provides to meet Pakistan's obligations under international conventions relating to climate change and address the effects of climate change. Speaking on a point of order, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that the bill to extend Military Courts will be tabled in the National Assembly on Monday and later it will be presented in the Senate. He said country is passing through extraordinary circumstances and the political parties have taken the decision to extend military courts for two years in the best interest of the country. He said we must ensure judicial reforms and implementation on the National Action Plan in these two years.
Responding to adjournment motion moved by Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan and others, Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid said that government is making all out efforts to ensure fair, transparent and credible census. The Minister said that column for special persons and transgenders have been included in the census form on the directions of Supreme Court.
Similarly, census in all the agencies of FATA will be held in second phase. Responding to another adjournment motion moved by Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said that no discriminatory concession will be allowed to Chinese industries harmful to local industry. Leader of the Opposition in Senate Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan said the his party has some reservations over the bills but they decided to support it in larger interests of the country. He said they were assured that a national security committee of the parliament would be set up to monitor reforms progress and NAP.
Earlier, Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani said the Senate Committee of the Whole had flagged the issue. The house had passed Witness Protection Bill, 2015 and Anti Terrorism Bill, 2015 unanimously on January 18, he said. “Had both the bills properly worked out today we have not to face such situation”, he remarked. The House will now meet on Monday afternoon at three.