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First step to protect women’s rights: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Wednesday termed the passage of the Women’s Protection Bill the first step in a long journey to protect women’s rights.“The government will also bring more legislation for protecting the rights of women to remove all those injustices prevailing in the society,” he said in his brief address to the National Assembly on Wednesday after the passage of the bill. He assured the House that there would be no legislation contrary to the Holy Qur’aan and Sunnah. “We would never adopt any bill violative of the Qur’aan and Sunnah,” he said, adding that the Constitution also guarantees this. “It is our collective responsibility that no law is promulgated in the country in violation of the Qur’aan and Sunnah.”

The prime minister reiterated PML President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s commitment that they would bring about amendments if anything contrary to the Qur’aan and Sunnah was found in the bill.“The government, in consultation with other parties and the Ulema, will introduce some other bills as well to empower women and safeguard their rights,” he added. The prime minister thanked members of the House belonging to the PML, the PPP and the PPPP, the PML-F and the PML-N for their attitude during the passage of the bill. “We should demonstrate the same spirit in other matters.”Muhammad Saleh Zaafir adds: Addressing a news conference in his Parliament House Chamber immediately after the passage of the bill on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said since the bill was finalised after consultations with different segments of the society and the recommendations of the Ulema, therefore, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) had no justification for boycotting the passage.

Shaukat Aziz said he talked to the president after the passage of the bill, and General Pervez Musharraf congratulated him and the whole nation on its adoption. The prime minister expressed satisfaction that no party opposed the bill. The PML, its allied parties, and the PPPP supported the bill while the PML-N abstained from the voting. This, he said, shows that democracy is functioning well in the country. He said 157 members of the PML and allies –31 of the PPPP and three of the PML-N were present in the House during the voting. The bill has been passed with a record number of votes of members of the National Assembly.Replying to questions, the prime minister said the bill passed on Wednesday is not exactly the same as recommended by the Select Committee as several amendments have been incorporated after the consultative process. Earlier, talking to a delegation of members of the National Assembly under PML-Q President Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain in his chamber, the prime minister said that the amendment to the Women’s Protection Bill was reflective of the views of the PML and its allied parties and is in complete conformity with the injunctions of Islam.
Source: The News

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