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.