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Govt to ensure right use of Electronic Crimes Act: Baligh Ur Rehman.

ISLAMABAD -- State Minister for Interior Mohammad Baligh Ur Rehman Wednesday apprised the Senate that the government would ensure right use of Electronic Crimes Act.

Winding up discussion the motion 'The threat to freedom of expression by misuse of the Electronic Crime Act and the impunity with which crimes are continuously being committed against journalists and media person' he said, the collective wisdom of National Assembly and Senate had helped to make the Electronic Crimes Bill.

He said this is a new law, there is a chance of misuse, but the government will ensure it should not be misused.

He said Parliament had been assigned to oversight the bill and a comprehensive report will be presented in the both the house with in month.

He said that FIA is ready to give detail briefing to any committee. Under the act, he said, about 4,030 complaints are received during 2017 and out of these 559 enquires were held and 102 FIRs are registered.

The minister said that this act is not being misused rather it is being used to trace elements who are working against the interest of the State.

About compensation to Parachinar victims, he said Rs one million had been given to each family of the deceased and 0.5 million to the injured by the federal government. Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman said the law had been passed after lengthy debate in the both the houses.

She said, suggestions and amendments of the parliamentarians will be welcomed at any time. 'We are open, no law is final and there is always room for improvement', she added.

The minister said the law had been passed as per constitution and freedom of expression had not been curbed in it.

She said that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) can not close all the contents. PTA closed the website after adopting the process, she added.

She said that due to efforts of the government had been opened by the local companies.

She said that under the law, FIA can arrest the person after the permission of the court.

Earlier speaking on the motion, Azam Swati said that misuse of the Electronic Crimes Act should be stopped. He said universities, civil society and other steakhouses are still holding debate on the act. Saher Kamran said around 900 people had been arrested by the government after the passage of the bill.

She demanded that bill should be taken back and further deliberation should be held on it.

Farhatullah Babar said that it was promise after the passage of the bill that report in the parliament will be present with in six month but no report had been laid in the house.

Karim Khawaja said that misuse of the bill should be stopped and asked the ministry of Information Technology to present the report in the house.

Usman Kakar said use of any law makes it bad or good. He asked the government to ensure that the law should not be misused. Taj Haider said both electronic and social media are highlighting the issues of the people.

Freedom of expression should not be distributed due to the law, he added.

Ilyas Ahmad Bilour said it was made commitment with the house to present report, but after the passage of eight month no report present in the house.

He asked the minister to present the report on the bill that what kind of action had been taken against the people.

Hafiz Hamdullah said expression of freedom is the right of the common people as per the constitution of the country.

Syed Shibli Faraz said it was decided that Parliament will have oversight over the act.

He suggested that FIA should be called for update on the law.

He said ministry should be asked what kind of steps had been taken to stop misuse of the Act.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Chaudhary Aitzaz Ahsan, said it was the responsibility of the state to look after its citizen.

'Fist priority of the state should be welfare of its citizen', he added.
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Jul 20, 2017
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