LAHORE: The Parliamentary Working Group of Punjab Assembly established by Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO) to strengthen legislative oversight for building peace and sustainable development in Punjab has submitted 40 questions and five resolutions in the assembly regarding implementation of National Action Plan.
This was stated by SSDO Executive Director Syed Kausar Abbas, while briefing the media. He said the questions and resolutions were related to the performance of the district and local governments to implement the laws made under National Action Plan (NAP) to counter violent extremism in Punjab.
The questions were related to details of members of district, tehsil and union council vigilance committees under Punjab Vigilance Committees Act 2016, mechanism to implement Temporary Residents Act to register the tenants, status of implementation of the law made to counter hate speech by banning the organisations creating hate speech, ban on using loudspeaker and mechanism to address the issue of misuse of loudspeaker at the local level. The resolutions were also related to the same laws focusing on implementation of the laws and amend the laws to address the challenges of implementation. These questions and resolutions were submitted by MPAs Raheela Khadim Hussain, Barrister Waseem Badozai, Rana Abdul Manan, Sania Aashiq, Seemabia Tahir, Farah Agha, Abida Raja and Saadia Sohail.
As a next step, SSDO will facilitate the members of Parliamentary Working Groups to organise awareness seminars in their respective constituencies. The awareness sessions will be organised with the local communities to educate the local communities on the laws made under NAP to counter violent extremism at local level in Punjab. The engagement of local communities can help counter extremism and promote peace and sustainable development at the local level. SSDO will organise the constituency-level sessions in 15 constituencies of Punjab initially and would be further extended them to other constituencies as well.
The Parliamentary Working Group aims to strengthen the legislative oversight for building peace and sustainable development in the province. The group comprises members of Punjab Assembly from different political parties and was working on the issues of peace and sustainable development.
The initiative encourages the members to play a proactive role in addressing the issues through legislative oversight in Punjab.
MPA and spokesperson for Punjab government Sadia Sohail said that NAP needed to be implemented in its true spirit and all the stakeholders needed to work together to address the issues of countering violent extremism in the province. The previous government could not implement it in its true spirit due to which the laws made under it could not be implemented by the respective district and local governments. The current PTI-led government in Punjab has taken serious steps to implement NAP, she said.
PML-N MPA Raheela Khadim Hussain said the previous government made several legislations under the NAP and the laws needed to be implemented at all levels. Some laws need to be changed because they do not encourage the participation of elected local and provincial government representatives. The peace process cannot be ensured until the local stakeholders, including the elected representatives of local and provincial governments, are included in the local level committees. Barrister Waseem Badozai, member of Standing Committee on Home Affairs, said that there was a need for comprehensive reforms in the curriculum of the educational institutions.