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Government flayed for worsening condition of women crisis centres

ZULFIQAR AHMAD

The government claim to empower womenfolk is mere a lip service as worsening condition of women crisis centres, renamed as Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women Centres, shows its treatment to more than half of the country’s population.

This was stated by Nelofar Bakhtyar, a senator of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), which is also a government ally, while lamenting the centres’ condition, created for women’s weal, and are on the verge of closure.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s daughter has been appointed as ambassador-at-large for women empowerment – a clear indication that how we have created the phenomenon of haves and have-nots.

“Is the appointment of PM’s daughter as ambassador-at-large is the only criteria for the post or is there any qualification and experience to fill that slot.

The newspapers were full of ads with her pictures,” she opined.

She said 25 women crisis centres, set up to respond to growing cases of domestic violence against women have almost been closed.

Telephone as well as electricity connections have been cut off due to non-payment of bills.

The irony of fact, which hurts the most, Nelofar said is that the prime minister during his recent visit to Australia boasted of women empowerment in Pakistan.

“Come on Mr Prime Minister…the [women] crisis centres in your country, set up for the most vulnerable section of society, have almost been closed down.

Which women empowerment you are talking about?” she asked.

Nelofar said after 18th Amendment and dissolution of women empowerment ministry, the 25 crisis centres were made responsibility of provinces, of which 12 were given to Punjab, which is still reluctant to accept them due to their renaming after ‘Benazir Bhutto’.

She said the matter of crisis centres reflects the general attitude of governments in Pakistan towards solving real women issues.

Senator Sabir Baloch of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) criticised Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahbaz Sharif for using derogatory language against President Asif Ali Zardari during a rally against the government in Lahore on October 28.

Baloch said the House should condemn Shahbaz Sharif’s remarks against the President and demanded top PML-N leaders Raja Zafar-ul-Haq and Ishaq Dar to tender an apology.

People in a civilised society, he added, must learn to talk like civilised people.

Responding to Sabir Baloch, Raja Zafar said that there should not be violence in politics.

“During my political career, I neither used any derogatory language against anybody nor anyone dared to do so against me,” he added.

He said we know civilised nations do not use derogatory language, but they also do not accept rampant corruption in shape of closure of Pakistan Railways, PIA, PSM and worst-ever energy crisis.

Senator Jamal Leghari moved a privilege motion against the high-ups of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), accusing them of severe negligence and paying no heed to missing of his luggage at Islamabad airport.

The privilege motion was referred to the concerned committee, which will take appropriate action again PIA.

Source: Business Recorder

Date:11/1/2011

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