Senate passes Election Bill 2017 with majority vote


Islamabad, Sept 22 (TNS): The Senate, the upper House of the Parliament, on Friday passed Election Bill 2017 with majority vote envisaging reforms to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country.

The bill, already passed by the National Assembly, was moved by Minister for Law Zahid Hamid.

The bill also includes the some incorporate amendments moved by Opposition members.

Speaking on the occasion, the Law Minister said long and protracted deliberations were held to craft this consensus document.

The Senate was informed on Friday that a new anti-narcotics policy is to be formulated to combat the threat posed by drug trafficking.

Replying to a question during the Question Hour, Minister for Narcotics Salahuddin Tirmizi told the house that Pakistan is an opium free country duly certified by the United Nations, but the drugs being produced in large quantities in Afghanistan are being smuggled to other parts of the world through Pakistan.

He expressed the confidence that the fencing of the border being carried by Pakistan Army will also help check the drug trafficking.

Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch told the house that the figure of registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan stands at 1.4 million.

He said efforts are being made to ensure their dignified and voluntary repatriation to their homeland.

He said that six hundred and forty six thousand refugees returned to Afghanistan last year.