Durrani says women protection bill an irreversible act -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Durrani says women protection bill an irreversible act

By our correspondent
ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani on Wednesday said the government had transformed the Women Protection Bill into an irreversible movement and no party could thwart the process of women empowerment in the country anymore. “Though the government enjoyed majority in the House, yet it wanted to take onboard all the political parties so that a new culture of tolerance and coordination could be emerged,” he said, while addressing a press conference after the parliamentary party meeting of the ruling coalition here at the Parliament House. However, he did not give specific timeframe when the bill would be passed by both the houses of parliament, saying: “Once a consensus is reached then it would be sent to parliament. We are not in hurry to pass the bill.” Durrani said the government had its all options opened and would keep in touch with all the political groups for further improvement in the bill as it had set no timeframe for the passage of the bill. “The introduction of Women Protection Bill is such an initiative which has compelled all the liberal as well as conservative political elements to back it under the momentous public pressure, mounted due to proactive role of the media,” the minister said. He said President Pervez Musharraf was the architect of women empowerment bill and the government wanted to improve the bill by incorporating maximum recommendations of all the parties.

He recalled when the bill was introduced in the National Assembly, the MMA parliamentarians tore its copies and reacted very harshly. However, he added, the government adopted such an approach which created historic public pressure to which even the conservatives had to bow down and enter in the dialogue process with the government. The minister made it clear that the government had no design to score points or please the West by passing the bill. “Rather, I want to make it clear that the government aims at empowerment of the women segment and ensuring their rights. Answering a question, Senator Durrani said the government was in contact with the MQM, the PPPP and other political parties, adding that their reservations on the bill would be removed. The minister said the government holds interests of the people supreme adding the Women Protection Bill would help strengthen the country, society and empower the deprived segment. Responding to another query, Durrani said there was an exemplary representation of wom en in the parliament, district governments and other decision-making fora. He added the government had also enhanced women quota in the civil service and ensured release of women prisoners involved in different crimes.
Source: The News
Date:9/14/2006