Amid Opposition’s protest, Senate approves NAB Amendment, journalists’ protection bills

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Friday approved several bills, including the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Ordinance 2021 and journalists’ protection bill, amid protests by the Opposition.

The Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals bill was introduced by Federal Minister for Information Dr Shireen Mazari. It was passed after 35 votes were given in its favour and 29 against it.

An independent group led by Senator Dilawar Khan also supported the government in its bid to have the bill passed.

The Opposition protested the government’s decision to include the bill as an additional item in today’s agenda, as Opposition lawmakers shouted “Rubber Stamp Parliament unacceptable”.

Mazari said that it had taken the ministry one year to formulate the bill.

The NAB Amendment bill was presented by Federal Minister for Law Dr Farogh Naseem. “This bill is not being passed for a single person, rather, it is for everyone across the board,” he said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Ali Mohammad Khan, presented the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Amendment bill which was also approved by the Senate.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani was forced to adjourn the session after Opposition lawmakers, incensed at the bills being approved, surrounded the Speaker’s dias and tore copies of the day’s agenda.

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