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Senate unanimously passes Naya Pakistan Housing bill

By Our Correspondent
January 15, 2020

ISLAMABAD: In a significant development, the Senate Tuesday unanimously passed a bill for the establishment of Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NPHDA), as the opposition extended conditional support to the government on this key legislation.

The proposed piece of legislation had already been cleared by the House standing committee concerned. However, some opposition senators, including JI’s Mushtaq Ahmad, Sirajul Haq, Leader of Opposition in the House Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq and Muhammad Javed Abbasi of PML-N said assurances had been given to them for amendments after mutual consultation in the proposed law.

Senators Mushtaq and Sirajul Haq said that there at least amendments, proposed in connection with the bill, as it included many things unacceptable to them, including loans on interest. “This interest-based part of the bill runs contrary to the Islamic injunctions,” they emphasised and made it clear not to back it. Senator Mushtaq had his dissenting notice to the committee report.

Likewise, Raja Zafarul Haq also supported JI senators that there could be no legislation that was in violation of the Sharia and he wondered how could interest be part of any initiative, when the rulers kept on talking about following the State of Madina. “It must be remembered that any act, which is against the basic principles of Islam should be avoided. But here, if this act is being promoted, then this is great injustice,” he remarked.

Senator Maulana Ataur Rehman of JUI-Fazl said that the opposition was appreciated for supporting the bill. “I greet the entire House on this legislation but, through an amendment, the portion on interest be done away with,” he said and wondered as to who was playing the role of opposition. He quipped either the government was No. 2 or the opposition.