The National Assembly on Thursday passed a record 21 bills, including the International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2020, to bring into effect the judgment of the International Court of Justice in the case of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Ordinance, 2020, aimed at giving foreigners the right to appeal against military court convictions in the high courts.

The bill was presented by Law Minister Farogh Naseem. It will be tabled in Senate and, if passed, it will become a law.

The proposed law will allow foreign nationals to file an appeal themselves or through their country’s mission against their military court convictions.

The bill will allow Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal his conviction in the civilian court. In its verdict in 2019, the International Court of Justice had directed Pakistan to review and reconsider his conviction.

Jadhav, a serving commander of the Indian Navy and a spy of the India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was arrested from Balochistan in 2016. In his trial at a military court, he had confessed to his involvement in acts of terrorism and was sentenced to death in 2017.

The law minister said that Pakistan is a responsible state. The passage of the bill will help block India’sn nefarious designs, he added.

He said consular access was not given to Jadhav during the PML-N regime while the incumbent government provided consular access to him twice.

Law Minister Farogh said it was mandatory to bring legislation in order to provide fresh consular access to Jadhav under ICJ decision.

He urged the house to support it as it tantamounts to the support of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Advisor to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan tabled the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020 for consideration after suspension of the rules.

The House passed the bill with majority vote after voice voting, state media reported.

The Election (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in the National Assembly on October 16, 2020. It was referred to the Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs the same day.

The other bills passed by the National Assembly are:

  1. Financial Institutions (Secured Transactions) (Amendment) Bill, 2021;
  2. Port Qasim Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021;
  3. Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021;
  4. Gwadar Port Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021;
  5. Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2021;
  6. Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Bill, 2020;
  7. Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) (Amendment) Bill, 2021;
  8. Federal Medical Teaching Institutes Bill, 2020;
  9. National Institute of Health (Re-organization) Bill, 2020;
  10. Maritime Security Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2021;
  11. International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2020;
  12. COVID-19 (Prevention of Hoarding) Bill, 2020;
  13. SBP Banking Services Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2020;
  14. Corporate Restructuring Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2021;
  15. Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2021;
  16. Pakistan Academy of Letters (Amendment) Bill, 2021;
  17. Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020] (Section 4);
  18. Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020] (Section 7); and
  19. Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Earlier, PM’s Advisor Babar Awan introduced three bills and they were referred to the relevant committees for consideration.

They included the Pakistan Allied Health Professionals Council Bill, 2021; the Pakistan Nursing Council (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan also presented the Report of 2nd Biannual Monitoring on the Implementation of the 7th NFC Award (January-June, 2020).

Later, the House was adjourned to meet again on Friday at 4pm for annual budget presentation.

Anas Mallick is an international journalist who has been working as a field reporter for 7+ years now. With a focus on diplomacy, militancy, and conflict, Mallick's expertise involve Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. He tweets at @AnasMallick


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here