ISLAMABAD ( BMZ REPORT )
The government informed the Senate committee that the bill on national policy on cyber crimes was ready and will be presented to the cabinet for approval in next few days. Opposition senators said cyber crimes threatened national security and called for a comprehensive policy and establishment of a full-fledged division to combat cyber crimes. Responding to a commenced motion by PPPP’s Karim Ahmad Khawaja, State Minister for Interior Muhammad Baleeghur Rehman said the National Centre for Cyber Crimes was already functioning in the four provinces and in Gilgit-Baltistan.
He acknowledged the fact that reliance on cyber technology was increasing and said the government had also drafted a bill on cyber crimes and already a firewall system was working in various ministries that would be further strengthened on a priority basis. The minister said grey trafficking was also a big issue and massive tax-evasion was being done. However, the government had taken various steps, including raids, which resulted in checking tax evasion to the tune of Rs1,500 million in terms of grey trafficking.
Leader of the House Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq conceded that Pakistan was yet to begin ABC in the field of science and was massively lagging behind in education too.He highly spoke of Iranians, who despite facing severe world curbs, made tremendous advancements in converting huge machines into tiny ones for utility, missile and nuclear technology. He said they successfully got landed an American drone, instead of destroying it.
PPPP’s Senator Farhatullah Babar said the fantastic speed of committing cyber crimes posed a new threat to national security and referred to an American report that said Pakistan, Iran and China were being focused with cyber attacks. Mushahid Hussain Syed, who heads the Senate Standing Committee on Defence, said cyber crime was no more an issue, the real issue was cyber terrorism and cyber wars.
He strongly advocated immediate legislation and insisted the armed forces should also focus on the cyber challenge, as they did not have their own server and relied on yahoo, gmail and other options, being monitored by the Americans and others. He made a mention of the recommendations made by the committee in this context.
Senators Talha Mehmood and Aitzaz Ahsan also spoke on the issue and called for a comprehensive strategy on combating cyber crimes. Karim Khawaja said presently there were 7000-10,000 cyber crimes complaints registered with FIA’s cyber crime wing. He called for creating awareness among public of cyber crimes, as many don’t know who to approach in case of being a victim of cyber crime. He said the PTV and private TV channels should also play their role in creating awareness among public of this.
A condolence resolution was also adopted that pay tribute to ex-senator, veteran journalist Syed Fasih Iqbal for his services to the cause of Balochistan, democracy and journalism.
Senator Mushahid and some other senators, who accompanied him during a recent visit to Karachi Port, Ormara and Gwadar Ports, spoke on how strategically important it was to pay attention to the potential of ports, particularly Gwadar port. They called for the early completion of Gwadar-Rattodero road.
They said other forces should emulate the Pakistan Navy in promotion of national integration in Balochistan and spoke highly of the navy’s services the field of health and education in the province’s coastal areas.
The senators called for ensuring implementation of the committee’s report, once it is submitted to the House. PPPP Senator Sughra Imam’s bill to amend the Pakistan Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure (The Anti-Honour Killings Law) (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill, 2014 was referred to the committee concerned.