No party backed bills tabled by its members


ISLAMABAD – No member of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Awami National Party (ANP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) and other smaller parties produced a single piece of legislation as 21 bills were tabled in the National Assembly by the legislators as private members (in personal capacity) during the third parliamentary year starting from March 2010 till December 2010.
The PML-N legislators produced the most bills, followed by the PPP and the PML-Q respectively; a parliamentary source told Pakistan Today.
The National Assembly did not pass a single private member’s bill and no political party supported the bills produced by its own MPs. These bills were dumped in the relevant standing committees and no bill had been sent back to the assembly for legislation. Some of the bills were either not taken up or were deferred.
Humayon Saifullah Khan of the PML-Q (Likeminded) topped the list by introducing four bills as a private member, followed by two bills each by PML-N’s Khurram Dastagir, Naseer Bhutta, Nisar Tanvir, PPP’s Sherry Rehman, PML-Q’s Marvi Memon and PPP’s Justice (R) Fakhar-un-Nisa Khokhar.
Of the 21 bills, PPP legislator Sherry Rehman’s bill to amend blasphemy laws generated controversy between the religious parties and liberal segments of society. She had proposed that the death sentence be reduced to a 10-year imprisonment while life imprisonment be substituted with a five-year imprisonment.
She also proposed that a new section 203-A should be added to the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) that “anyone making false or frivolous accusation under any of the sections of 295 A, 295 B and 295 C of the PPC shall be punished in accordance with similar punishments prescribed in the section under which the false or frivolous accusation was made”.
Of the other 20 bill, 13 were introduced and sent to the relevant standing committees while six were not taken up. One bill was withdrawn, one was rejected and one was deferred.