ISLAMABAD: After failing to muster support of the provinces and the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), a parliamentary panel has dropped the proposal of public hanging of criminals found guilty of abducting and abusing children.
Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice was reviewing on Thursday the amendment bill, moved by Rehman Malik after the abduction, rape and brutal murder of a child in Kasur in January. Senator Javed Abbasi chaired the moot which was the last to be held during the current setup of the Senate.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Law and Justice also opposed the proposal of public hanging stating that rules were already there for such steps. The prison chiefs of all provinces and the CII have already opposed the proposal.
Senior Adviser in Law Ministry Malik Hakam Ali Khan said the existing rules already carried the provision of death by hanging publicly in view of rule 354 of the prison rules. “Hence an amendment in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) will not be required for the same,” he said.
He said it was the domain of the prison departments to see how a public hanging is to be carried out. Senator Murtaza Wahab said that while severity of punishment is needed, it is the certainty of punishment that fulfills the needs for justice. Later Abbasi asked the senators for their final vote and everybody agreed to oppose the bill.
Status of national languages
The committee also passed a constitution amendment bill calling for also giving Sindhi, Punjabi, Balochi and Pushto the status of national languages. Senator Sassui Palijo and Mukhtiar Ahmed Dhamrah were movers of the bill, which was also opposed by Khan, saying it would damage unity in the country.
Disagreeing, Senator Muzafar Hussain Shah asked what damage it would cause if four regional languages were also given status of national languages.
“We must change with the passage of time instead of being static and stubborn,” he added. Palijo said the East Pakistan was also lost because of that attitude. “It has been part of the ruling party’s manifesto but it is deviating from it,” she said.
To this the draftsman of the law division said the manifesto talked about a commission for the said purpose. “If the government could not do it in five years then it should let the bill pass to save its face,” said Shah. Later the committee passed the bill with majority despite the opposition from the law division and referred the bill to the Senate.