NA does not allow debate on issues on Women's Day -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

NA does not allow debate on issues on Women’s Day

ISLAMABAD,March 09,2005: The National Assembly (NA) adopted a unanimous resolution on Tuesday to express solidarity with women on the occasion of International Women’s Day, but did not allow debate on women’s issues despite repeated requests by women MNAs.

Assembly proceedings were stopped for an hour as a gesture of solidarity with women because all women MNAs had to attend a meeting of the Standing Committee on Women Development (SCWD).

The resolution was jointly moved by all women MNAs from every political party, led by the Pakistan Muslim League’s (PML) Mehnaz Rafi, who is the chairman of the SCWD.

In the resolution, women MNAs expressed their resolve to continue struggling for women’s social and political rights that Islam and the constitution of Pakistan guaranteed and protected.

They also expressed solidarity with Dr Shazia Khalid and Mukhtar Mai and demanded punishment for those responsible for abusing them.

They also paid tribute to Fatima Jinnah in their resolution and asked the speaker to have a portrait of her put up in Parliament House’s reception. Dr Waseem Shahzad, minister of state for interior, responded to a ‘calling-attention notice’ by Salim Jan Mazari and MNA Bhandara and told the NA that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had no plans to shift a church located in Sector G-8 to the Islamabad Christian Colony.

“The CDA will only consider such a demand if it comes from the Christian community,” he added.The issue was raised in the NA after a non-government organisation, Muslim Welfare Society, demanded the CDA shift the church to the Christian locality.

Women MNAs of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal called attention to the fact that the decision to withdraw changes made in uniforms of female flight attendants and policewomen had still not been implemented despite the parliamentary secretary for defence affairsÂ’ assurances. The secretary said he would discuss the matter with the defence minister.

The secretary said orders had been issued regarding the change of dress only for public places and not when flight attendants and policewomen were on duty. “My sister MNAs are absolutely justified in their demand and I will bring the matter to the minister’s notice and try to redress their concerns,” he added. He said covering the head with a ‘duputta’ was not only Islamic but also a tradition of Pakistani women. He also asked the speaker to take the matter up with the defence minister. Women MNAs asked the speaker to refer the matter to the House Assurances Committee and to summon the PIA chairman to explain why the NA’s directions were not implemented.

Earlier, when the notice was taken up, no minister was present in the house to answer the MNAs’ queries and the speaker brought this to the notice of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, PML president.
Source: Daily Times
Date:3/9/2005