NA clause-wise approves Senate-amended bills

Arshad Waheed Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly clause-wise approved two amended bills from the Senate on Thursday in order to complete the legislative process regarding the Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2020 and United Nations Security Council (Amendment) Bill 2020.

Earlier today, the Senate passed the Anti-Terrorism Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which is required to fulfill certain requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to get the country off the grey list. The Upper House of the parliament also approved the United Nations Security Council Amendment Bill 2020.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan presented the bills before the Lower House of the parliament.

Exercising Article 54 (1) of the Constitution, President Arif Alvi had summoned today’s session of the National Assembly after the government postponed the joint session of the parliament.

Also read: Senate passes Anti-Terrorism Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020

The government had earlier issued an eight-point agenda ahead of the NA session, which included two calling attention notices and three reports from the standing committees.

The recently approved bills were clause-wise voted on in the Lower House of the parliament after they were amended in the Senate today. The NA had earlier approved the bills on Wednesday with a majority vote and much commotion from the opposition benches.

Joint session to be held after Eid-ul-Adha

Meanwhile, the government has postponed the joint session of the parliament until next month. Sources said that the change in decision came due to the possible resistance from the opposition in the session, where its lawmakers constitute a majority.

According to sources, a few of the pending bills need to be approved from either Houses of the Parliament, due to which the joint session will be summoned after Eid-ul-Adha, likely on August 6.

Sources said that the opposition parties had asked its lawmakers to stay in the federal capital for the session, invoking apprehension in the government which led to the change in the schedule.

A session of the PTI and its coalition partners under Prime Minister Imran Khan will also take place today, added sources.