Two bills on honour killing tabled in NA
ISLAMABAD, March 09, 2005: The treasury members tabled on Tuesday two bills on honour-killing in the National Assembly during lacklustre proceedings on a private members day.
The bills, moved by Pakistan Muslim League members Kashmala Tariq and M.P. Bhandara, were clubbed by the speaker on the request of the movers due to their similar nature. However, the speaker deferred further discussion on principles of the bills for the next private members day after members of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal opposed the introduction of the bills through voting.
The ruling party members have called for declaring the honour killing as Qatal-i-Amd (intentional murder). Ms Tariq, in her bill, has also suggested punishment for those who abet, encourage and conspire or validate the commissioning of honour killing.
Unlike previous private members day when the treasury members had joined hands with the MMA and the PML-N members in opposing a similar bill of Ms Tariq, Minister of State for Law Shahid Bhinder did not oppose the bill and supported the movers’ proposal that the bills be clubbed.
The change in the attitude of the treasury benches seemed to be an attempt to improve the international image of the government with reference to President Gen Pervez Musharraf’s stress on enlightened moderation.
A change was also witnessed in the attitude of the members of the opposition People’s Party Parliamentarians, who at one stage, joined the treasury members to bring back the MMA members, who had staged a walkout from the house to register their protest over the remarks of Muttahida Qaumi Movement member Kunwar Khalid Younus against Hafiz Hussain Ahmed during the assembly’s Monday session.
PPP members Raja Pervez Ashraf, Nayyar Bokhari and Syed Khurshid Shah along with ruling party’s chief whip Nasrullah Dareshak and Federal Minister for Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis Ghulam Sarwar Khan went to the lobby and succeeded in bringing the MMA members back to the house.
In another development, PML president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain specially came to the house to respond to the objections raised by former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali on the formation and working of the parliamentary committee on Balochistan while taking part in the debate on Monday evening.
The PML chief avoided passing of any remarks against Mr Jamali, but justified the composition of the committee. He invited Mr Jamali to attend the committee’s meeting on March 16 to express his views and present his suggestions on the issue.
He said Mr Jamali belonged to the province of Balochistan and, therefore, he could give good suggestions. Earlier, the house also deferred The Removal from Service (Special Powers) (Repeal) Bill, 2005, moved by 14 members of the PPP.
Introducing the bill, PPP MNA from Kasur Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed called for repeal of the ordinance, terming it a black law and a tool in the hands of already powerful bureaucrats.
PPP MNA Sherry Rehman, speaking on a point of order, expressed her concern over the non-functioning of several standing committees due to delay in the election of their chairmen.
Quoting a news item based on the auditor general’s report regarding embezzlement and misuse of funds in the ministry of foreign affairs, Ms Rehman regretted that the standing committee on foreign relations was not functioning despite the fact that the third parliamentary year had started.
The speaker termed the point of order valid and asked Nasrullah Dareshak to respond to it. Mr Dareshak assured the house that the election of the chairmen of the remaining standing committees would be completed during the current session. Later, the house was adjourned by deputy speaker Sardar Mohammad Yaqub for Wednesday evening without completing the 78-point agenda.