Two key bills made their way into the National Assembly on Tuesday. One proposed by female MPs, seeking enhanced punishments for perpetrators of acid crimes against women and the other by members the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) calling for a ban on the production, transportation and sale of firearms.
Female MPs from all political parties called for an effective implementation mechanism after a National Assembly panel recommended to the house to approve a bill seeking enhanced punishments for those responsible for acid crimes against women.
In its report on Acid Control and Acid Prevention Bill, 2010, the National Assembly standing committee on women’s development urged the house to accord an approval to the legislation that proposed life imprisonment and a minimum Rs1 million fine for the crime.
The committee argued that the crime was becoming more common by the day in the absence of a proper legislation to prevent it from happening.
The female lawmakers added that an effective mechanism to ensure the implementation of the law was also critical.
Initially moved to the house by Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Marvi Memon as a private bill, the legislation also called for the rehabilitation of acid burn victims, urging the government to set up a separate institution for this purpose.
Memon said the enhanced punishment and heavy fine would act as a strong deterrence. Advocate Anusha Rehman of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) asked for a follow-up legislation by the provinces to make the law more effective.
Deputy speaker Faisal Karim Kundi promised that the bill would be brought to the house to seek its approval during the next private members’ day in the coming week.
Almost two dozen members from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) introduced a bill calling for making Pakistan a weapon-free country by putting a ban on the production, transportation and sale of firearms.
The bill, in its statement of objects and reasons, said that the peace, stability and integrity of the country were under threat due to the illegal manufacturing and sale of firearms.
To be named the De-weaponisation of Pakistan Act 2011, the bill proposed a ban on the sale of all those materials which are used for the manufacturing firearms or explosives.
Kundi referred the legislation to the house committee for further consideration after it went unopposed by the government.
Another private bill introduced by Khurram Wattoo of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) called on the government to stop rehiring civil servants once they complete their tenure and also to not appoint anyone with dual nationality.
The bill also proposed that civil servants must submit the details of their assets and accounts like parliamentarians do every year.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2011.
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