Foreigners buying land in Pakistan, Federal government mulls important legislation

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ISLAMABAD: Over the issue of Foreigners buying land in Pakistan, Federal government mulls important legislation.

Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice in its meeting on Thursday discussed ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (insertion of Article 253A) introduced by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed regarding permission to foreigners to purchase land in any part of Pakistan.

The committee members were of the view that this should be brought as an independent law and not as a constitutional amendment so that the constitutional amendment would not be disturbed.

The Committee members sought information as to what is the current mechanism of granting permission to foreign nationals or foreign companies and it was subsequently decided to call Secretary Interior, provincial Boards of Revenue, Board of Investment and SECP to next meeting to discuss whether it falls under federal or provincial domain and how many foreigners currently have land in Pakistan.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi at the Parliament House and was attended by the Senators Musadik Malik, Mushtaq Ahmed, Dr. Ghous Niazi, Mushahidullah Khan, Sana Jamali, Mian Ateeq Sheikh, and officials from the ministries of Law and Justice, National Health Services and Regulations and State Life Insurance Corporation.

While discussing ‘The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues (Amendment) Bill, 2018 introduced by Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Sheikh, the Committee was told by NADRA that a chip could be installed in the National Identity Card which would be indicative of the fact that the owner had expressed his or her will to donate organs. However, the Committee members asked NADRA to come up in the next meeting with a simpler mechanism which was easier to comprehend by the general people.

This bill was reported by the Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination and has also received approval of Council of Islamic Ideology and Federal Shariat Court.

Regarding the matter of sit-in of the employees of State Life Insurance Corporation for their demands, the Committee heard the General Manager of the Corporation and decided to call ministry of Commerce and SECP to discuss the matter.