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Pak opposition parties again scupper passage of pro-women Domestic Violence Bill

April 6, 2012 - Islamabad

The Pakistan government has 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).

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had warned the government against taking the Bill through the House.

"We know bitterly about women's rights than the PPP-Western culture can not be promoted on name of protection in Islamic states," The Express Tribune quoted him, as saying.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz also expressed its concerns over some clauses in the bill and called on the government to amend them.

A Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said that the bill ought to be passed without delay and urged the chair to give its ruling for passage of the bill.

Rehman 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.

The National Assembly had earlier passed the bill in 2009, but it could not be passed in the Senate within the stipulated 90 days, which is the legal requirement of the Constitution.

According to the rules of business, this bill can be passed only in the joint sitting of Parliament.

A Pakistan People's Party member, Yasmeen Rehman had earlier tabled the bill and stressed the need to institutionalise measures to protect women and children from domestic violence.

The House, subsequently, passed the bill along with some amendments introduced by an MQM member SA Iqbal Qadri.


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