“NA to take up women’s rights bill on Oct 4”
By Ahmed Hassan
ISLAMABAD, Sept 27: The 38th session of the National Assembly is likely to begin from Oct 4 to discuss the Protection of Women Rights bill, according to federal minister for parliamentary affairs Dr Sher Afgan Khan Niazi. The government is expecting a fierce opposition reaction in the wake of the release of the president’s book. President Gen Pervez MusharrafÂ’s remarks during his stay in the US have also irked opposition parties. According to the rules, the speaker will have to reconstitute the select committee at the start of the session after the bill is re-introduced. The government is facing tremendous pressure to pass the bill. The government will have to take all coalition partners and opposition parties into confidence. The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal has threatened to resign from the assembly if the bill was passed without removing its ‘reservations’, the PPP announced to support or oppose it during a clause-by-clause reading while the MQM has strongly opposed its alteration outside the house select committee.
The Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) has already submitted an adjournment motion to question the contents of the book reportedly authored by the president contending that it tantamount to divulging national secrets and using official resources for its publicity and sales. Mr Niazi told this correspondent that he had sent the summary on Thursday to the president to summon the lower house, and said that the assembly also has to pass eight to 10 bills, including the women’s rights bill. The summary has been sent for a 10-day session and simultaneously, the Senate will also be convened to endorse the bill once it is adopted in the National Assembly.