Lower House of Parliament also introduces four new bills for deliberation by relevant standing committees
Pakistan’s National Assembly on Wednesday passed a unanimous resolution condemning the desecration of the holy Quran in Norway, and demanded the government to continuously highlight the grievances of Muslims over all such incidents.
In its resolution, the Lower House of Parliament said deliberating setting the holy book on fire was akin to terrorism and was intended to provoke a reaction from the Muslim Ummah. It also paid tribute to Muslim youth Omar Ilyas, who stepped in and prevented the desecration of the Quran.
Pakistan had last month summoned Norway’s ambassador to convey the state’s deep concern over the failed attempt to burn the Quran during an anti-Islam rally in the Norwegian city of Kristiansand. Local police officials had warned the leaders of the rally against setting fire to the holy book but he persisted, prompting Ilyas to jump in and take action. The rally eventually devolved into violence, forcing police to take both people from both sides into custody.
Separately on Wednesday, Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Zain Hussain Qureshi informed the National Assembly that Pakistan had improved its position on the global ease of doing business index, jumping to 108 from 136 out of 190 countries ranked. He said the World Bank had placed Pakistan in its top 10 best performers in ease-of-doing business, and noted that global investment tracker Moody’s had also upgraded Pakistan’s economic outlook from negative to stable. These events prove the government’s economic policies are working, he added.
Qureshi said Pakistan Customs was working hard to eradicate smuggling from the country, adding the organization had confiscated a wide range of goods from tea to auto parts to cigarettes, medicines and electronic goods. He said all confiscated goods were disposed of through open public auction so long as they were not narcotics or expired, banned and hazardous items, which are destroyed.
During Wednesday’s session, Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Aliya Hamza Malik informed the House that China has offered favorable concessions to Pakistan, including the elimination of tariffs on 313 tariff lines. Effective safeguards have been taken to protect domestic products, she added.
The government also introduced four bills to floor of the House, which were referred to the relevant standing committees for debate. The legislation introduced was The Port Qasim Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2019; The Surveying and Mapping (Amendment) Bill, 2019; The Gwadar Port Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2019; and The Privatization Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2019. In addition, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority Ordinance, 2019 was also laid before the House.