KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution condemning violence against women and demanded of the government to implement the law passed on the issue.
The resolution was moved to observe the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. The joint resolution, moved by Rana Ansar of the Muttahia Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Ghazala Sial of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), was supported by all the male and female lawmakers.
Sial said that women are still facing violence at home. “Violence against women is common across Pakistan. They are being tortured at home and killed on the pretext of honour,” she said, adding that the government should devise a mechanism and take action against those involved. She said that Pakistan is among the most dangerous places when it comes to violence against women, as around 90% women suffer from domestic violence.
Ansar said that most of the cases of violence against women do not get reported. Naheed Begum of MQM called it an important day. “The society we live in is still not willing to give due rights to women,” she said.
Parliamentary Affairs minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro supported the resolution and said that the Sindh Assembly is the only assembly in Pakistan that has taken a lead while passing bills upholding the rights of women and minorities.
Mehtab Akbar Rashdi of the Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F) appreciated the government’s efforts for passing the bill but expressed dismay over the implementation of the laws. “The law is like a weapon so government should use it,” she said. “Otherwise it will not bring any tangible result.” She asked the government to implement the law passed by the assembly against domestic and other kinds of violence against women.
Resolution turned down
The assembly turned down Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman’s adjournment motion for discussion on government jobs. Zaman said that the government has lifted the ban on government jobs but there is a dire need to appoint people on merit. “I request you to please admit my resolution [as] criteria for jobs in government departments are not fulfilled,” he remarked. He referred to the 40% and 60% quota in jobs for urban and rural areas, respectively. “Karachi is being neglected,” he lamented.
Khuhro opposed his adjournment motion and said that the ban has been lifted but the process of recruitment has not yet started. “Technically, the adjournment motion is not maintainable,” he said. “How can we discuss this issue if the recruitment process has not started?” He requested Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza to expunge the non-parliamentary words used by PTI MPA against the government.
Earlier, Nusrat Seher Abbasi of PML-F raised the issue of the Thari families who are being affected by the toxic water of a dam being built in Tharparkar. “The families have staged a sit-in in front of Karachi Press Club but no one heeds to their plight,” she said.
Khuhro responded by saying that the government is trying to turn Thar into a ‘model district’, which is why megaprojects have been started with the mining of coal.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2016.