A Meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs, under the chairpersonship of Senator Rubina Khalid, was held at the Parliament House on Friday. Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi also attended the meeting.
Bills further to amend the Port Qasim Authority Act, 1973 [The port Qasim Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was considered in detail.
At the outset of the meeting, Senator Rubina Khalid emphasised that any amendment in the bill should be according to the constitution. She further said that if a constitutional amendment is required to be made, proper procedures should be adopted. “No amendment shall be made which is in contrast to the constitution”, Senator Rubina stressed.
The ministry officials informed the committee that out of the total 72 sections of the PQA Act, 1973, 21 sections are being amended, whereas 51 sections of the Act would remain unchanged. Secretary Maritime Affairs highlighted that the change is for the operational efficiency of the official business, and there is no hidden agenda to make these changes.
The chair and the committee members said that the sole aim, to deliberate in detail over the bills was to give parliamentary input in the country's national Interest. The committee unanimously sought time to ponder further on the amendments in the Bill, to finalise it in the next meeting.
The discussion also took place on the point of Public importance regarding “Fishing by foreign Trawlers in Baluchistan’s territorial waters” raised by Senator Tahir Bizinjo.
According to the report of the Inspection Committee, it was wrongly assumed that the vessels were bottom trawlers, whereas four vessels excluding the carrier vessels are Light Luring Seiner. The committee reported that the fish stock available in ship was from high seas, but the observation of local fishermen is that all these species exist from April to August in the territorial waters of Balochistan .
Senator Tahir Bizinjo was of the view that the issue is of great concern for the local community of Gwadar. Bizinjo proposed to have a meeting with the Chief Secretaries of sindh and Baluchistan on the subject.
The meeting was attended by Senator Fida Muhammad, Danesh Kumar, Nuzhat Sadiq, Muhammad Tahir Bizinjo, Senator Naseema Ehsan, Muhammad Abdul Qadir, Muhammad Akram, Dost Muhammad Khan. Senior officials of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice and other attached departments were also in attendance.