Cabinet to take up draft bill on karo kari -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Cabinet to take up draft bill on karo kari

ISLAMABAD — The Shujat government on July 28 told the National Assembly that Federal Cabinet would take up for finalization a draft legislation on honour killing (karokari) in its next Wednesday’s meeting and then table it in the form of a bill before the Lower House of the Parliament.

“The Prime Minister has ordered that the draft on honour killing be placed in the agenda items of the cabinet meeting to be held on coming Wednesday,” Adviser to Prime Minister on Women Development Nilofar Bakhtiar informed the National Assembly.

She maintained that the draft legislation would be submitted before the National Assembly within shortest possible time after an approval of the federal cabinet as it is being prepared in consultation with women representatives of the parliamentary parties.

“However, the amendments in Hudood laws will take some time as the draft is under process in the Parliamentary Affairs, Law and Justice Department,” Nilofar said during a debate on a motion of PPP-P on “The Protection and Empowerment of Women Bill, 2004.”

The main mover, Mrs Sherry Rehman called for adopting the procedure of conscience vote for adopting the bill comprising ten clauses including repeal of Hudood laws, punishments to those involved in Karokari and women education. “Why we cannot amend the man-made laws? she asked.

On which, Minister for Environment Major (Retd) Tahir Iqbal stood up and said the Hudood laws are not man-made but these are the limits from Allah. “We reject this impression that these are man-made laws”.

Sherry Rehman asked the government to submit before the House its differences with the Opposition on any of the ten clauses of the “Protection and Empowerment of Women Bill, 2004.” “The government must adopt a clear stand on this bill by opposing or accepting it. They must clear whether or not they want to repeal the Hudood laws”.

Nilofar Bakhtiar asked the PPP-P to bring the bill clause-wise as many things have been clubbed in it. “Our government is already implementing many of these clauses such as women education.”

Petroleum Minister Noraiz Shakoor told the House that the government was in favour of the bill and wants its approval from the Parliament after evolving a consensus among the stakeholders.

The MMA’s Samia Raheel Qazi said the Hudood laws are already a settled issue, therefore the government should not try to make changes. “Hudood are set by Allah and the Parliament cannot change these even if it wants”.

Samia questioned as to why the PPP-P did not repeal Hudood laws when it formed government twice. “This is nothing but point-scoring at this stage”, the MMA MNA maintained.

The Adviser to Prime Minister on Women Development Nilofar Bakhtiar went on to say that the PPP-P MNAs (movers) are engaged in point scoring by tabling the empowerment of women bill in the National Assembly. “We had worked on Hudood laws eight months back”.

Fehmida Mirza asked the government to explain on which clause of the bill it differs with the PPP-P. “And if there is no difference then why hurdles are created, just of taking credit”.

The PML-N MNA Khawaja Saad Rafiq opposed the bill on behalf of his party, however, asking the government to take all the parliamentary party heads into confidence. “Despite being part of the ARD, we have not supported the PPP-P in moving this bill. This is not the issue of this House but the whole 140 million population of the country”.

Meanwhile, on a calling attention notice, the Petroleum Minister Nouraiz Shakoor told the House that the concerned SDO has been suspended after closure of Kotri Agriculture Feeder in District Dadu for the last five days.

The MNAs Nawab Abdul Ghani Talpur, Nawab Muhammad Yousaf Talpur and Syed Naveed Qamar had moved the notice.
Source: The Nation
Date:7/29/2004