Benazir hails passage of women’s bill
ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister and Chairperson Pakistan Peoples Party Benazir Bhutto has congratulated the PPP Parliamentarians and other Pakistanis on the passage of the Women Protection Bill by the National Assembly. In a statement on Friday, she said that for a quarter of a century the PPP had been struggling to repeal laws discriminatory towards women. She said the passage of the bill by the National Assembly demonstrated that this gigantic task could only be achieved when both the government and the opposition united on an issue of national importance despite their divergent viewpoints on other issues. She said the ruling party and the opposition had stood by the women of Pakistan in taking a step towards repealing laws discriminatory towards them. While noting that the law finally presented to the assembly was not the one that had been finalised by the select committee, she said that it was an improvement on the existing laws.
She also commended the PPP Parliamentarians for voting for the bill with unity, faith and discipline. Benazir said the party had proved that the PPP stood for principles and that it was a party that strived for the modernisation of Pakistan free from backwardness, which guaranteed to the women the equality promised by both religion and the Constitution.
She said the PPP has been campaigning for the total repeal of all the five Hudood laws that were promulgated in the name of Islam by the military dictatorship of the eighties, which had exploited the name of Islam to rob the people of their rights. “These laws were promulgated only to pander to religious extremists with a view to creating a political constituency for the dictator.”
The PPP wants total repeal of the 1979 Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, she said, adding, “The Protection of Women Rights Bill is the first mortal blow to the structure of coercive and apartheid laws foisted on the country a quarter of a century ago.” The PPP reiterates its commitment to undo all unjust and discriminatory laws against the women and the minorities, foisted by dictatorship in the past, she said. She said the PPP is committed to working for democracy, gender equality, minority rights, provincial rights and for the emancipation of the people from poverty, hunger, discrimination and prejudice.
Source: The News