The National Assembly started its session at the Parliament House in Islamabad this evening with Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in the chair.

The House is transacting private members’ business today. The House adopted a motion authorizing the Speaker National Assembly to appoint a special committee on Kashmir comprising 22 members in proportion to their representation in the Lower House.

The motion, moved by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, also authorized the Speaker to include six Senators, three each from the treasury and the parties based on their strength in the Senate.

The Speaker was also authorized to make changes in the composition of the committee as and when required.

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar says the government has done nothing new by allowing the premier intelligence agency to intercept calls and messages through any telecommunication system.

Responding to points raised by Leader of the Opposition Omar Ayub in the House, he said the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act, 1996 has been in place since 1996 that provides to trace calls and messages of citizens. He said it has been made mandatory to provide names of the officers not below grade-18 and their area of operation to perform their responsibilities. He said it will help counter terrorist activities in the country.

Seven bills were introduced in the House today. These include; ‘The South City University Bill, 2024]’, ‘The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2024’ ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2024) (Amendment in Article- 175A and 215)’, ‘The National Commission for Minorities Bill, 2024’, ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2024) (Article-51 and 106)’, ‘The Nippon Institute of Advanced Sciences Bill, 2024’ and ‘The High Courts (Establishment) (Amendment) Bill, 2024’.

The chair referred the bills to the standing committees concerned.

The House also referred ‘The International Institute of Technology, Culture and Health Sciences Bill, 2024’ and ‘The State Owned Enterprises (Governance and Operations) Bill, 2024 to the standing committees concerned for further deliberations before putting them for passage.

The House passed ‘The Christian Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2024’ and ‘The Pakistan Psychological Council Bill, 2024.’

The House will now meet again tomorrow at two p.m.