Pak Affairs

Federal Cabinet approves PAH, Criminal Law amendment bills

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has taken several important decisions including the approval of the Protection Against Harassment at Workplace Bill 2008 and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2008. The meeting, held in Islamabad on Wednesday, was chaired by Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Briefing newsmen about decisions of the cabinet, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sherry Rehman said that the broad agenda of the meeting included good governance, legislation on harassment, Framework Agreement among G-11 countries on Economic, Trade and Agricultural Cooperation, and Visa Abolition Agreement between the governments of Pakistan and South Africa.

She said the Prime Minister reiterated his stand on good governance that our government sees as key to the success of democracy in Pakistan. The Prime Minister’s decision to lift the ban on recruitment is directed at ensuring the provision of employment to the deserving people. Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani directed the Ministers to make sure that recruitment in their respective Ministries is made following the principles of transparency, merit and high standards.

The Government was told to strictly observe the provincial, regional, the women and the disabled quotas during the recruitment process. All Ministers were asked to personally supervise the recruitment exercise to ensure the supremacy of merit.

The Information Minister said that the Cabinet approved two important draft bills namely the ‘Protection Against Harassment at the Workplace Bill 2008’ and the ‘Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2008’.She said approval of these bills is a major step towards legislation related to protection of workers and the provision of justice.

The bill on harassment is aimed at protection against violation of the fundamental human right to live with dignity. The Legislation complies with the PPP Government’s commitment to high international labour and human rights standards, and equality of opportunity.”

The Information Minister highlighted the Cabinet’s decision to give ex-post facto approval for initiation of negotiations, and the approval for signing of the Framework Agreement among G-11 countries on economic, trade and agricultural cooperation.

She said the Agreement contains measures to enhance cooperation in tourism, information technology, cultural and education, trade and the investment promotion. The member countries include Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco, Sri Lanka, El-Salvador, Croatia, Georgia, Honduras, Indonesia, Ecuador and Paraguay.

She said that the Cabinet approved the proposal to start negotiations for signing Visa Abolition Agreement between the Governments of Pakistan and South Africa for the holders of diplomatic and official passports.

The Minister said that the current visa regime requires diplomatic and official passports holders of the two countries to obtain entry visa from the embassy of the respective countries. The new agreement would mutually benefit the official and diplomatic passport holders of the contracting states.-SANA

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Nabeel Malik

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