Thursday, January 26, 2017

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China - Taiwan authorities daydream about allies' unconditional loyalty

Burkina Faso's Foreign Minister Alpha Barry recently said to the media, "We get outrageous proposals telling us, 'If you sign with Beijing, we'll offer you $50 billion or even more.' " He then explained that he refused the offer because "Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We're happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship." 

Any rational thinking person would believe that Burkina Faso's foreign minister was saying "nothing short of ludicrous." Burkina Faso is listed as one of the 10 Least Developed Countries in the world, according to the United Nations. The landlocked country in western Africa has a small population of 17 million, and a backward economy of $11.2 billion GDP a year. 

However, such "insane banter" has pleased Taiwan's " Ministry of Foreign  Affairs", as they are still grappling with the recent loss of "diplomatic ties" with other African countries such as Sao Tome and Principe. In response to Taiwan's reaffirmed ties with Burkina Faso and Swaziland, a spokeswoman responded, "Our relations are concrete". A DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) "legislator" also stated in his Facebook, "It is fortunate that certain values and friends are not for sale."

The relationship between Burkina Faso and Taiwan has always been fully sustained with money. The country first established "diplomatic" ties with Taiwan in 1961, but later severed it in 1973. After it formed a diplomatic relationship with Beijing, Taiwan repurchased its "diplomatic" ties with the African country. As a recent example of the nature of their relationship, a Taiwanese "diplomat" promised Burkina Faso a 44 million euro ($47.33 million) aid over the next couple of years during his visit to the country last September.

Beijing is not interested in utilizing monetary inducements to strengthen its roster of diplomatic relationships, a strategy obviously favored by Taiwan. Beijing's appeal is so powerful that every rational nation with a strategic vision simply wants to maintain its diplomatic ties with Beijing. This type of powerful appeal cannot realistically be replaced with monetary promises made by Taiwan. Most of the remaining 21 "diplomatic allies" are eager to develop relationships with Beijing. In fact, the allure is so great that Beijing could attract all of Taiwan's remaining "diplomatic allies" without spending a penny. It is the primary reason that Taiwan's administration remains in panic mode.

Although Taiwan will always be able to maintain a few "diplomatic allies" by spending more money, its real threat lies within the realm of its "diplomatic allies" that may one day voluntarily seek comfort in the arms of Beijing, regardless of any monetary promises from Taiwan. These countries, most barely noticeable in the world map, are essential to Taiwan's "diplomacy", and yet dispensable to Beijing. Even if Beijing decides to teach Taiwan a lesson, buying out their diplomatic relationships is hardly an option.

Burkina Faso's foreign minister mentioned the "$50 billion" for underlying reasons that will soon surface. He is probably campaigning and gearing up to ask Taiwan for more money, a scenario that could play out along the lines of, "Look, Beijing offered us $50 billion. How much are you willing to propose, Taiwan? " Taiwan's leader, Tsai Ing-wen, chose to deny the 1992 Consensus, a decision that has led to soaring prices for Taiwan's "diplomatic" ties.

Those countries that have yet to establish diplomatic ties with Beijing have increasingly felt unconventional in the world. This explains why they willingly pursue diplomatic ties with Beijing, including Vatican that has not established diplomatic relations with Beijing for special reasons. All other countries that remain Taiwan's "diplomatic allies" have only done so for simple and convenient reasons based on money.

Chinese mainland has risen to be a superpower on the world stage. Monetary inducements are unlikely to offset any strategic value attached to having diplomatic ties with Beijing. Beijing always has plenty of bargaining chips on the table.

Taiwan is going to need more money if it wants to continue with its current strategy of "diplomacy." It is very likely that another one of its "diplomatic allies" will soon bring it the news of a $100 billion offer from Beijing. After all, denying the 1992 Consensus is an expensive game that can have less than enjoyable consequences.

Syria Ceasefire Conference in Astana, an Important Step Towards Peace

By Mehmet Ersoy

On January 24, Kazakhstan’s capital city Astana witnessed the final day of negotiations between Syria, Russia, Iran, Turkey and the Syrian armed opposition seeking a more comprehensive ceasefire for Syria. The Astana talks became a breakthrough in the process of resolving the Syrian crisis.
It was the first time the opposition was brought to table. The sides were able to include an effective role of Tehran and Ankara as guarantors, with Moscow, of the negotiations, and this contributed to the success of the talks. The sides say they are ready to start drafting a final peace agreement which, however, cannot be implemented without a number of conditions.
First of all, the guarantors concluded that the success of a peace process depends on separating the armed opposition from terrorists. Damascus and its allies argued this in early September 2016 when a short truce came into effect in Syria. The U.S., however, did nothing to support that and it refused to take part in a process of separation. Now, the future of this project looks more promising.
In Astana, the parties started to move towards it. They agreed on marking the combat lines with ISIS and to begin to identify Jabhat al-Nusra’s positions.
Another condition of an intra-Syrian agreement is a total ceasefire. Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to create a mechanism to control a truce in Syria. In cooperation with Damascus, the parties will set up a trilateral monitoring body to enforce the ceasefire.
Of note is that U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura attended the talks.
Due to the recent U.S. presidential election, the White House has distanced itself from the Syrian crisis. The negotiations in the Kazakh capital may give momentum to a new course by Washington that would not be against the interests of the Syrian people.
As for the UN, Stefan de Mistura noted that UN Security Council was ready to discuss the results of the Astana talks and adopt the resolutions from there; in particular, those resolutions concerning the mechanism of ceasefire control.
The negotiations in Astana laid the groundwork for future collaboration between the Syrian parties, they showed a diplomatic solution is possible and they proved the parties’ willingness to end the bloody war in Syria as soon as possible. For its part, the Syrian opposition perhaps realizes that dialogue can yield more than war.

The next meeting between the Syrian government and the opposition is scheduled for February 8 in Geneva. These UN-sponsored talks aim for a comprehensive political settlement in Syria. The ceasefire talks in Astana have turned out to be a solid stepping stone towards working out a comprehensive peace agreement between all sides and more joint efforts in the fight against terrorism.

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Afghanistan: Who controls what?

Since the Taliban was ousted from power following the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the armed group's control over parts of Afghanistan has fluctuated widely.
According to a recent report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the Western-backed Afghan government has lost control of nearly 5 percent of its territory to the Taliban since the beginning of this year.
The report says the area under Afghan government "control or influence" decreased to 65.6% by the end of May from 70.5% last year, based on data provided by US forces in Afghanistan.
That amounts to a loss of 19 of the country's approximately 400 governing districts.
However, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, Army General John Nicholson, said the Taliban presence is mostly in rural areas.
Afghan officials, on the other hand, say an exact figure on areas controlled cannot be measured as the fight against the Taliban and other armed groups is still ongoing.
Based on reports gathered by Al Jazeera from local police, security forces and the Taliban, here is a conservative estimate of the areas in Afghanistan that are contested, under the Taliban, and under government forces.

Pakistan - Our leaders have failed to discuss the misuse of blasphemy laws in the Parliament

 By - Madeeha Bakhsh

Despite acknowledging its growing misuse by all sections of our society, including religious scholars, politicians, government, judiciary and civil society, our leadership has failed to show the guts and raise a consensus to have the debate in the parliament over this most misused, criticized and controversial law in Pakistan.
Although some parliamentarians made attempts to have a debate on this issue, their endeavours remained unsuccessful. Either they were silenced with death threats from extremists, or discouraged by their fellow parliamentarians. In May 2007 when Minority MNA Mr M P Bhandara presented a private bill, it incensed many parliamentarians and the then Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sher Afgan Khan Niazi articulately warned Mr Bhandara that Pakistan is Islamic country and such a bill cannot be discussed in parliament.
In November 2010, PPP’s MNA Sherry Rehman dared to submit a private member’s bill to amend the blasphemy law, but she was also threatened with death, as her act was considered equal to blasphemy by some people. Thousands of people related to different Islamic groups rallied and protested nationwide against her proposal of dropping the death penalty. At last, the then prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was forced to announce the government was not considering to amend the blasphemy law and no committee had been formed to suggest changes in the law, in order to calm Islamic extremists.
Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and General Pervez Musharraf also tried to amend the law but failed, with even the police not following their directive. By the passage of time and obliviousness of our politicians now it has become a complicated and sensitive issue, and whenever such statement comes from anybody, Islamic groups vehemently oppose any amendments. Last time, in March 2016, Islamic groups only ended their four-day sit-in in Islamabad after assurance from the government that the blasphemy law would not be amended.
Now PPP’s senior politician Senator Farhatullah Babar’s statement about reforming the blasphemy law has raised our hopes of seeing an end to the ongoing misuse of the blasphemy law in Pakistan. So far, I saw no strong objections or protests from the Islamic groups. Perhaps it is not to my knowledge, or they might be waiting for further developments, but one thing I am sure about, is that it is not going to be easy.
According to Senator Babar, Senate Committee on Human Rights’ discussions about blasphemy laws will be based on recommendations from an old report that remained untraceable for 24 years. He recently discovered the document, told by Mr I A Rehman, Director HRCP a strong critic of the blasphemy law.
Senator Baber says it is a mystery how the Criminal Law (Third Amendment) Bill 1991 — making the death penalty mandatory for blasphemy — was passed, despite the relevant committee seeking clarification.
I think it all happened after Advocate Ismail Qureshi, and some other people had a meeting with the then PM Nawaz Sharif. What a coincidence that he is the prime minister now when the amendment is being recommended again. It is often said that PM Nawaz Sharif has changed since then and is a different person now. I can say his speech at the recent inauguration of a water filtration plant at Katas Raj temple complex was a slight glimpse. The aspiration to make a Pakistan minority friendly country and promoting its soft image in the world is not possible while we have the blasphemy law on our statute book. The Senate Committee on Human Rights is providing another opportunity, and it’s time for the prime minister to take this matter and prove that what he said was not just a political statement, but his vision for Pakistan to make this country Quaid’s Pakistan.


Two office bearers of proscribed ASWJ (Sipah-e-Sahaba) met deputy secretary general of the Saudi Rabita al Alam al Islami at a meeting hosted by head of another banned outfit Ansar ul Ummah in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan.

Aurangzeb Farooqi and Khadim Dhilloon are those two hatemongering ringleaders of banned Sipah-e-Sahaba (ASWJ) who met Saudi official Abdul Rahman Bin Abdullah al Zaid. Fazlur Rehman Khalil, leader of banned Ansar ul Ummah (Harkat ul Ansar) hosted the dinner reception in honour of Saudi official in Islamabad.
Federal interior ministry failed to take any action against the banned outfits and their ringleaders who continued their activities despite the fact that the State of Pakistan has imposed a ban on them because of their involvement in terrorism.
They were not only encouraged to hold public meetings but now they were allowed to host foreign official in Islamabad. Neither the government lodged protest with the Saudi embassy over meeting of a Saudi official with the banned terrorist outfits’ leaders nor took any action against the banned outfits’ leaders.
ASWJ is mother organization of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and both of them are mother of all terrorism in Pakistan since 1980s.

Corruption in Pakistan - Two Sharifs, two different sets of rules?

Shamil Shams
Pakistan's former army chief, Raheel Sharif, is at the center of a controversy after documents leaked to the media purportedly showed he had been allocated a large tract of land in Lahore. DW examines.
According to the media reports, Raheel Sharif was given the land worth 1.35 billion rupees (12 million euros) by the country's army without consulting the civilian government. 
Pakistan's "The News International" newspaper cited defense sources as saying there was nothing "unusual" about the allocation of the agricultural land to Raheel Sharif, as military commanders receive such perks after their retirement. 
But pro-democracy activists and groups have accused the South Asian country's powerful military of corruption and exceeding its constitutional boundaries. They also say the military has no regard for the rule of law.
Raheel Sharif's land controversy comes at a time when the country's civilian Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave a go-ahead to an investigation into a corruption scandal involving the brother of General Ashfaq Kayani, Raheel Sharif's predecessor.
But more significantly, PM Nawaz Sharif himself is facing a trial in the Supreme Court over his alleged links with offshore companies. Though the PM and his family deny any wrongdoing, there is a huge uproar in Pakistan, with opposition parties and the military's supporters demanding his resignation, claiming the premier evaded taxes through these firms.
With regard to these serious allegations against the elected premier, rights campaigners say that while corruption is rampant in both civilian and military spheres, only politicians have been punished by the courts; army generals usually get off scot-free.
"The corruption in the Pakistani military is as rampant as in any other state institution," Arif Jamal, a US-based Islamism and security analyst, told DW. "The army is involved in the smuggling of oil and narcotics through the borders of the western Baluchistan province. The military also makes money through its checkpoints in the restive province. All drivers have to bribe the officers to pass through these posts. These are just a few examples," Jamal added.
A media trial?
But Major General Ejaz Awan, a senior military official, told DW that the media is running a smear campaign against Raheel Sharif. He, however, did not deny the reports about Sharif's land allotment. "The media is exaggerating the whole thing. It is not a commercial property; it is agricultural land. All legal requirements were fulfilled for the allotment of the land. It is a routine affair. Even soldiers are given land upon their retirement," Awan said.
Shoaib Amjad, a retired army general, said a certain media group was deliberately trying to damage Raheel Sharif's reputation. Experts say he is probably referring to the Jang Group of Publications, which has acquired a reputation of being a harsh critic of the military in the past few years.
"The same group incorrectly reported that Saudi Arabia had appointed Raheel Sharif as head of the Arab coalition army, now it has come up with the land issue," Amjad told DW, adding that the former army chief's supporters would do their best to counter the "propaganda."
For many in Pakistan, General Sharif proved himself to be a competent commander, who not only acted against Islamist terrorists but was also resolute against the prevalent corruption in the country.
But some analysts believe he is not worthy of praise. "General Sharif will be remembered for positing the military as a state within a state more than many of the guys before him," analyst Ayesha Siddiqa told the AFP news agency. "The manner in which he pushed the envelope was unbelievable."
Economic and political monopoly
In the local media, Pakistan's ex-army chief Sharif was hailed as a "leader" who wanted to eradicate corruption in the country. During his time in office, the general insisted that the battle against terrorism and corruption must go hand in hand. In April last year, General Sharif dismissed six military officers, including two high-ranking generals, over allegations of corruption, thus proving that he was committed to his stance on financial irregularities.
It was an unprecedented move in the Islamic country, which was directly ruled by the military for a total of 35 years after the nation's independence. And the military still has the final say in matters related to defense, security and foreign policies.
The dismissal of army officers - who were not tried for corruption, but were only sent into early retirement - came at a time when civilian politicians were facing huge criticism over their own corruption.
But critics of the army say that the dismissal of army officers does not sufficiently address the issue of the military's massive corruption, which usually goes unnoticed. The Pakistani military keeps a lion's share of the country's budget and is not answerable to the civilian government over its expenditures, they say. Rights activists also assert that the former army chief's removal of officers over corruption charges is proof that the military is not a "holy cow" as many in the country would like to believe.
Farooq Tariq, a leader of the socialist Awami Workers Party, points out that the Pakistani army is involved in all spheres of the economy. "It is running businesses all across the country, from marriage halls to factories, and from banks and insurance companies to dairy farms. Does the constitution allow this? Isn't it corruption as well?" questioned Tariq.
"We must not forget that while people were celebrating General Sharif's 'resolve against corruption,' his army was cracking down on poor farmers in the Punjab's Okara region, trying to dispose them of their lands. Hundreds of cases have been registered against military officers, yet the civilian administration has no authority to even interrogate them," Tariq told DW.

Bilawal Bhutto to join father in US

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will join his father Asif Ali Zardari tomorrow (January 27) in the United States where they will remain for a few days and are expected to discuss the plan to contest by-election, party sources said.
Bilawal, currently in Dubai, will fly to the US to participate in the National Prayer Breakfast -- on the first Thursday of February.
Bilawal also has scheduled meetings with the US officials and lawmakers.
The father and the son, who lead distinct branches of the PPP, are expected to finalise a schedule for the by-elections, which would see them in the parliament for the remaining period of the five-year term that ends in the second quarter of 2018.
Zardari had announced on December 27 that he and Bilawal would contest by-elections to enter the parliament but so far the party had been tight-lipped about the schedule.
Some party leaders said that they could contest in March but this was not officially confirmed either by the PPP or the PPP-Parliamentarians.
A senior PPP leader told The Nation, the schedule was expected to be finalised in the US and could be announced soon after the return of Zardari from the US – in the first week of February.
“They will discuss how to go about it. Should they contest it on the same day or on different dates. It won’t be long before the people will know when they are contesting,” he said.
The PPP leader said that Zardari would also undergo medical check-up during his stay in the US.
“Bilawal will be by his side during the medical check-up,” he added.
Senator Sherry Rehman, who is in the US with Zardari, said that Bilawal’s main agenda was to attend the breakfast and to meet some of the US officials and lawmakers.
“Bilawal Bhutto has been invited for the National Prayer Breakfast, where he will also meet some Americans during his stay in the US,” she said.
The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event and has been organised since 1953 and covers a series of luncheon and dinners at the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue NW.
The event is typically attended by around 3,500 guests, including international invitees from over 100 countries.
The annual event is attended by every US president since Dwight Eisenhower.
PPP-P Secretary-General Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the schedule would soon be made public. “Once Zardari and Bilawal have taken a decision, the same will be announced. It shouldn’t be too long,” he added.
The PPP has also been keeping the people guessing as to who will be the opposition leader in the National Assembly after Zardari and Bilawal have been elected.
Shah recently said that Bilawal should take his seat after election as the party chief.
The PPP, however, denied that any decision had been taken.
“This decision will be taken after they have been elected. For the time being Khurshid Shah will remain the opposition leader,” Senator Babar said.
Meanwhile, former interior minister Senator Rehman Malik said that the word “Islamic terrorism” – used by the US President, Donald Trump, -- should be replaced by “religious extremism”.
Malik, chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control, said “Islamic terrorism or terrorists” was offensive and inappropriate. In a statement, he said that at a recently-held conference in Baguio all the participating countries had agreed to use “religious extremism” instead of naming and targeting any specific religion.
Senator Malik said that no religion on the surface of world taught its followers to kill people and “how Islam where the killing of one human is considered equal to the killing of the whole humanity can promote it.” “Handful of extremists did not represent the whole religion,” the PPP leader added.
The lawmaker, who is presently in the US, said that Daesh was a big threat to security of every nation and formulation of a common strategy was needed to combat it. He said that sacrifices of Pakistan in the war against terrorism were more than that of any country of the world so the new US administration must not prefer India over Pakistan and must accept its important role and sacrifices.
The former interior minister asked the government to provide life security for the people of Parachinar who were facing terrorism.
Expressing sympathies with the victim families of Parachinar bomb blast, he said that Operation Zarb-e-Azb should continue till the complete elimination of terrorism and extremism.

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میٹرو بس منصوبے بد ترین کرپشن کی غضب کہانی قرار

  • اسی قسم کے منصوبے پر ترکی میں 1000 ملین،چین میں 450 ملین جبکہ پنجاب میں 1530 ملین روپے خرچ ہوئے، اس طرح تخت رائے ونڈ نے بھارت سے 88 اور چین سے 78 ارب زیادہ خرچ کئے

  • عوام کی سہولت کے نام پر وفاقی حکومت اربوں روپے خورد برد کررہی ہے، پنجاب میں میٹرو بس منصوبوں پر جتنی لاگت آئی اس سے دگنے اخراجات ظاہر کیے گئے، پ
  • یپلز پارٹی نے وفاقی حکومت پر پنجاب میں میٹرو بس منصوبے میں اربوں روپے کی کرپشن کا الزام عائد کرتے ہوئے کہا ہے کہ منصوبے پر دگنی لاگت ظاہر کی گئی، عوام کی سہولت کے نام پر وفاقی حکومت اربوں روپے خورد برد کررہی ہے۔ ارباب چانڈیو کے مطابق بلاول ہاو¿س میڈیا سیل کی جانب سے ریسرچ ورک کے بعد انچارج میڈیا سیل نے بیان دیا ہے کہ وفاق کی جانب سے میٹرو بسیں چلانے کے جو اعلانات ہورہے ہیں ان میں بدترین مالی کرپشنکی جارہی ہے۔میڈیا سیل نے دیگر ممالک میں بننے والے میٹرو بس منصوبوں کا پنجاب کے میٹرو بس منصوبوں سے موازنہ کیا ہے کہ وہاں کتنی رقم خرچ ہوئی اور پنجاب میں کتنی لاگت آئی میڈیا سیل نے کہا ہے کہ موازنے کے مطابق میٹرو بس منصوبے پر ترکی میں 1000 ملین روپے،چین میں 450 ملین روپے جب کہ پنجاب میں 1530 ملین روپے خرچ ہوئے،تخت رائے ونڈ نے بھارت سے 88 اور چین سے 78 ارب زیادہ سرمایہ لگایا۔انہوں نے کہا کہ لاہور میں میٹرو بس منصوبے پر اربوں روپے لاگت ظاہر کی گئی،ملتان میٹرو بس میں بھی اربوں روپے کا غبن کیا گیا۔انہوں نے کہا کہ پنجاب میں میٹرو بس منصوبوں پر جتنی لاگت آئی اس سے دگنے اخراجات ظاہر کیے گئے، یہ منصوبے بدترین مالی کرپشن کی نشاندہی کرتے ہیں، عوام کی سہولت کے نام پر وفاقی حکومت اربوں روپے خورد برد کررہی ہے۔

بن بلائے ڈیووس جا کر قوم کو رسوا کیا گیا ،پیپلز پارٹی نے وزیر اعظم کے دورے پر آنیوالے اخراجات کی تفصیلات مانگ لیں

لاہور: پیپلز پارٹی پنجاب نے وزیر اعظم محمد نواز شریف کے دورہ ڈیووس کے تفصیلات سامنے لانے کا مطالبہ کر تے ہوئے کہا ہے کہ بن بلائے ڈیووس جا کر قوم کو رسوا کیا گیا ۔ پیپلز پارٹی پنجاب کے سیکرٹری اطلاعات مصطفی نواز کھوکھر نے اپنے بیان میں کہا ہے کہ وزیر اعظم نواز شریف کو ورلڈ اکانومک فورم پر پانامہ سکینڈل کی وجہ سے مدعود نہیں کیا گیا تو وہ کیوں گئی ،بن بلائے ڈیووس جا کر قوم کو رسوا کیا گیا۔ مطالبہ ہے کہ میڈیا میں آنے والی خبروں کو جواب دیا جائے اور بتایا جائے دورے پر قومی خزانے سے کتنا خرچ کیا گیا۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ پانامہ کا معاملا نواز شریف کا پیچھا کرتا رہے گا، جعلی سروے انہیں نہیں بچا سکتے۔


The Sindh Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill against employment of children below the age of 14, making child labour an offence punishable with prison term and fine.
The Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children Bill, 2017 carries up to six-months’ imprisonment and a fine up to Rs50,000 for the offenders. And if a child is employed for a hazardous job, the prison term may be extended up to three years with Rs100,000 fine.
According to the bill, no establishment or factory could employ a child less than 14. They had to meet strict conditions before employing a child between 14 and 18.
Rounding up the discussion on the general principles of the bill, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah informed the house that a law — The Employment of Children Act 1991 — existed at the federal level but it was being repealed in view of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution as the subject “Labour” had been devolved to the provinces.
“Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces have already replaced the act accordingly and the Sindh government have also devolved many laws, but this legislation is now taken up as we have made a policy of considering the bill in the cabinet before tabling it in the assembly,” he said.
During the discussion, the house adopted two minor amendments suggested by lawmakers Amir Moin Pirzada and Sumeta Afzal of the opposition Muttahida Qaumi Movement about deleting a clause pertaining to allowing a child not below the age of 14 to engage in light work for maximum two hours for acquiring skills. The other amendment was about increasing the members of the Sindh Coordination Committee on Child Labour from seven to nine.
Earlier, Senior Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Khuhro, who introduced the bill, highlighted its general principles and said that child labour on petty wages was an old issue. Before 18th Amendment the federal government used to tackle the issue but after devolvement of the labour department it was now the constitutional responsibility of the provinces to deal with this issue.
He said that it was the Sindh government which made such a law so that no one could take advantage of the poverty of innocent children.
Recalling a recent incident in which a child, Tayyaba, who worked in the house of a judicial officer, was tortured, the minister said that the incident took place in Islamabad and the person involved was not an illiterate person. “Greedy people [take] advantage of children and their families’ economic compulsions, but now we are making efforts so that no one could exploit them.”
The parliamentary party leader of the MQM, Syed Sardar Ahmad, termed the bill very positive and timely.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s Ghazala Sial, MQM’s Heer Soho, Dr Seema Zia of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, provincial minister Shamim Mumtaz and others also supported the bill before it was unanimously passed into law.
CM Shah assured the house that the Sindh government had taken certain measures to provide protection to the artist. Besides, he said, he had written to the interior ministry to take action against those institutions which had turned into ‘nurseries’ for training extremists.