MQM set to table anti-domestic violence bill in assembly
KARACHI, Sept 21: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has submitted an Anti-Domestic Violence Bill, 2007, in the Sindh Assembly Secretariat and asked all political parties, civil society, NGOs and others to support it to make it “an effective piece of legislation.”
Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Friday, MQM MPA Faisal Subzwari, the mover of the bill, said that the main objective of the bill was to provide security and protection to women, particularly those residing in the rural areas, where incidents of domestic violence were rampant.
However, he made it clear that the bill was not based on gender discrimination and was not women-specific. “This bill will also cover domestic servants and poor farmers,” he claimed.
He said that the bill, which had been submitted in the Sindh Assembly Secretariat about a week ago, would encourage people to report incidents of domestic violence.
He recalled the role of his party in the passage of the Women’s Protection Act and said that the MQM always wanted to empower women and was against all discriminatory laws.
In response to a question, he said that the submission of the bill had nothing to do with the Oct 6 presidential election.
“The Sindh Assembly will complete its term on Dec 14, 2007 and we have sufficient time to discuss and approve the bill,” he added.
Mr Subzwari claimed that a similar bill, which had been submitted by the opposition PPP-Parliamentarians in the Sindh Assembly, had some shortcomings and, therefore, the MQM, after preparing a comprehensive draft, presented a separate bill.
He said that all political parties and civil society members should support the bill. He requested all parliamentary groups in the Sindh Assembly to support the MQM bill so that it could become a law.
MQM MPAs Abdul Quddoos, Shakir Ali, Arshad Shah and Bilquis Mukhtar were also present.