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Signing of karo-kari bill praised

KARACHI,January 5,2005: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan has described the signing of the bill on karo-kari by President Pervez Musharraf as a historic achievement for which he deserves all praise.

He was talking to a citizen’s delegation which called on him at the Governor House on Wednesday. The delegation was led by Azfar Rizvi, President Daira Adab-o-Saqafat. The Governor said that initiative for introduction of this bill goes to Sindh Province.

He referred to a number of meetings held by him in his office against the centuries old and detestable custom of karo-kari, formulated legal re comendations and forwarded them to Federal Government for approval.

He thanked the members of the National Assembly and the Senate who extended full cooperation and ensured legislation. Dr Ibad said that credit goes to Sindh Assembly which passed a resolution condemning karo-kari.

The delegation and particularly its women members, paid tributes to the Governor for his bold initiative and success in this regard. They said that women in the interior of Sindh will now have mental solace.

They assured the Governor of their full cooperation in his efforts to create awareness in the society about this. They also appreciated the Governor’s efforts against crime dens and elimination of crimes in the cities and villages of Sindh.

Meanwhile, commenting on the bill, the Sindh Minister for Women Development Dr Saeeda Malik hailed it as a bold and major step towards women empowerment. Speaking to the media she said that the law is meant to protect the victim mainly comprising women.

She said it will also minimise the repurcussions of blasphemy and Hudood laws. Under the law it is now necessary that no woman is arrested for blasphemy or under Hudood without court permission.

Expressing her reservations about those critical of the bill she reminded that it is under karo-kari bill that “badl-e- sulal” has been declared punishable while elements registering wrong complaint against women under Hadd will themselves be tried for an off endable crime.

Now it would be a prerequisite that the officer investigating cases of honour killing does not hold a rank below SP, Dr. Saeeda Malik said. A lawyer of the High Court of Sindh, Ms. Saify Ali Khan, has hailed President General Pervez Musharraf for giving his assent to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2004.

The Bill provides for enhancement of punishment of honour-related crimes committed in the name of Karo- Kari, Siyah Kari and similar other customs or practices.

Ms. Khan said this step would help provide protection especially to the women particularly in the rural areas and small villages who were made scapegoat mainly by the feudals and others just to protect their property or for any other reason.
Source: Dawn
Date:1/6/2005

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