Opposition forces government to defer women domestic violence bill

Published: April 6, 2012

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that they would fight "tooth and nail" to stop the bill from being passed.

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday deferred the Domestic Violence Protection (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2009 following strong resistance by opposition parties including the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).

It was none other than JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who dared the government to take the Bill through the house, warning his party would oppose it tooth and nail.

The National Assembly had passed the bill in 2009 but it could be passed in Senate within the stipulated 90 days, which is the legal requirement of the Constitution. Now, according to the rules of business this bill can be passed only in the joint sitting of the Parliament. Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Yasmeen Rehman had, earlier, tabled the bill stressing to institutionalise measures required to protect women and children from domestic violence. The House along with some amendments introduced by the MQM MNA, SA Iqbal Qadri, passed the bill.

The government wanted to move the long-pending Domestic Violence Bill, 2009 on Thursday when opposition opposed the fresh move saying, the bill could not get pass from the Parliament till it has been amended further. “We know bitterly about women’s rights than the PPP–Western culture can not be promoted on name of protection in Islamic states,” observed the JUI-F Chief.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmakers MNAs Sardar Mehtab Abbasi and Khwaja Saad Rafiq also expressed their concerns over some clauses in the bill, suggesting the government amend these. Muttahida Qaumi Movement parliamentary leader Haider Abbas Rizvi was of the view that the bill ought to be passed without delay, urging the chair to give its ruling for passage of the bill.

On this point, Fazl ur Rehman again suggested that the matter should be referred to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII). But PPP Senator Raza Rabbani pointed out that the bill could not be referred to the CII under the law.

Lawmakers across party lines under head of PPP senior minister Syed Khurshid Shah will put their heads together and try to build consensus over the issue on Friday.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Jibran
    Apr 6, 2012 - 3:07AM

    PML-N is always against any bill for protecting women and children rights. It will protect the rights of terrorists tooth and nail, but women no way. This time too it lived to its expectations.

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  • Huma
    Apr 6, 2012 - 4:21AM

    the article/the (apparently) “elected” representatives should provide the text of the bill and the specific objections to specific clauses so that the public can weigh in with its opinion…. which is the way the way the world and parliaments usually work. guess not in pakistan… :/

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  • Saad
    Apr 6, 2012 - 6:10AM

    Dear ET

    How subtly you protect these fundos of PML-N and JUI by not naming their objections which are horrendous. Please obtain a copy of the white paper and enlighten the readers that these parties want to neuter the pro-women bill by PPP, PMLQ, ANP and MQM so it is rendered useless and remains ineffective.

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  • MarkH
    Apr 6, 2012 - 7:05AM

    I guess you couldn’t hope for better opposition. Not many would so consistently stand in the way of all forms of progress. That’s dedication.

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  • Mirza
    Apr 6, 2012 - 9:16AM

    The rural majority and women fully understand who is for their rights and who is not. All the hate campaign against the secular parties and their leaders is bases upon mullah/rightwing and military alliance. The proof is when anybody talks about the basic human rights of women they are gunned down by the terrorists and the killers are treated like heroes. Kudos to the coalition alliance of progressive and secular parties for their efforts. The silent majority is with you.

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