Pak National Assembly strikes down `graduation clause`

Pak National Assembly has passed the Elections Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009 thus unanimously abolished graduation condition for contesting polls.

Islamabad: Pakistan`s National Assembly on Wednesday passed the Elections Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009 thus unanimously abolished graduation condition for contesting national as well as provincial polls.
According to The Nation, the bill was passed in pursuance of the Supreme Court`s judgment dated April 21, 2008 in which the apex court had declared as null and void the provision of Article 8A of the conduct of General Election Order, 2002 (Chief Executive Order No 7 of (2002) and clause (cc) of sub-section (1) of section 99 of the Representation of the people Act, 1976 on account of their being inconsistent with Articles 17 and 25 of the Constitution.

Taking part in the proceedings of the National Assembly, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada on a point of order said that the Ministers for Interior and Foreign Affairs should give in camera briefing to the House on law and order situation particularly regarding Balochistan issue and the foreign policy of Pakistan.

Responding to the Point of Order, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said, "We are not wearing bangles and can meet the ulterior designs of India and Afghanistan in a befitting manner".

He said that he had told the Afghan government during his visit to Afghanistan that its soil was being used against Pakistan.

He said that he had given in camera briefing to Senate and was ready to give such kind of briefing to the Lower House also. Rehman Malik also said that he was always available for in camera briefing on national security.

"Everyone should keep in mind that we better know how to defend our territory," he said.

Malik said that the Afghan President had assured that his country`s land would not be used against Pakistan. Referring to Balochistan situation, Interior Minister said that a committee was formulated to give its recommendations to improve the Balochistan situation.

He said that injustices were done with the Balochistan province in the past, however the PPP-led coalition government would give due rights to the provinces and would compensate Balochistan for those injustices.

He said that the government needed political and national support as provided for military operation in Swat and Malakand.