NA panel rejects Zainab Alert Bill over breach on PPC

Published: June 12, 2019
National Assembly of Pakistan. PHOTO: APP

National Assembly of Pakistan. PHOTO: APP


A sub-committee of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday declared the Zainab Alert Bill 2018 as incomplete and in contravention of several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

The sub-committee, which met here to discuss the Zainab Alert Bill 2018, also opposed the establishment of “Zara”, an authority proposed under the bill.

During the meeting, the officials of the human rights ministry briefed to the committee over the bill.

It was also highlighted that there was no need to make a new institution when the entire administration and police were to serve as part of the authority.

Committee Convener Mahreen Razzaq Bhutto objected over the name of the proposed authority, saying that the bill should not be named after any girl. “The bill should go by the name of Child Alert Bill,” she said.

The sub-committee raised several objections over the draft bill, including the age of the child and conflict with several sections of the PPC.

Convener Mehreen said that the definition of alert was not clear, while the term missing child was not properly addressed. The term rape was also not properly defined, while the bill also fails to illustrate a coordination mechanism, the convener added.

She lamented over the way police behaved in Farishta murder case.

“What is the need for a new authority when we have the same police and administration? The section for alert should be added in the Child Protection Act,” said Mehreen.

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