PAKISTAN: PPP Protected Minorities, Women Rights'

Monday, September 10, 2012
The Frontier Post
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights

Talking to APP, he said reservation of four seats for minorities in the Senate and work on 'Minorities Protection Bill' to protect the Personal Laws of Minorities including legislation on Hindu, Sikh, Parsi and Bahai Marriage Acts were among important initiatives of the government.

"The National Assembly passed the National Commission for Human Rights 2011 amendment bill which provides for the establishment of a National Commission for Human Rights.

Construction of worship rooms for minorities in all jails of Pakistan reflects the government's policy for minorities," he added.

PPP General Secretary Jahangir Badr said, "President Asif Ali Zardari also announced special remission to prisoners belonging to minorities involved in petty crimes on their religious festivals. To bring minorities to the mainstream, 10 religious festivals of minorities are celebrated officially in Pakistan.

A project of the Ministry of Human Rights and UNDP titled "Strengthening, Enabling and Coordinating Rights and Empowerment in Pakistan" aims at initiating pilot activities leading to the finalization of a framework to support human rights institutions, systems and processes in Pakistan.

"The government has earmarked a quota of 5% for minorities federal services and enhanced the allocation for small schemes for minorities welfare projects by Rs 147 million.

Rights and welfare of women and their political empowerment are at the heart of PPP's political philosophy and governance endeavors.

"Besides giving a significant role to women in key policy decisions, economic empowerment projects are part of the government's efforts to create income-generating activities for marginalised women. High representation of women parliamentarians who represent 17% of Upper House and 22.7% of Lower House reflects the PPP policy.

Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly, Raja Riaz, said parliament made significant inroads in enacting laws for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Harassment, end Anti-Women Practices and crimes of defacing human body including, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2010, Law for Protection of Women against Harassment at the Workplace Act 2010, Criminal Procedure Act and Pakistan Penal Code were amended to give teeth to the Harassment Act and to prevent Domestic Violence against Women.

"Two new sections 336A and 336B have been inserted into the Pakistan Penal Code that whoever causes hurt by corrosive substance (acid, poison, explosive or explosive substance, heating substance, any chemical, etc) causing disfigurement or dismemberment of any organ or part of the human body or deforms the symmetry or appearance of a person would be punishable with minimum imprisonment of 14 years and a minimum fine of Rs one million to arrest the increase in acid throwing incidents on women.

An Independent National Commission on the Status of Women has been set up after approval of the parliament. Extension and implementation of the Jafakash Aurat Project are also among important efforts the government," he added.