By Iftikhar A. Khan
ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Wednesday that over the past two years 8,433 cases of violence against women were registered in Punjab and a total of 11,798 all over the country.
Minister of State for Interior Tasneem Qureshi said that 1,656 cases were registered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 680 in Sindh, 333 in
Balochistan, 362 in Azad Kashmir, 272 in Islamabad and 62 in Gilgit-Baltistan since January 2009.
He said the quarters concerned had been directed to act firmly against gender-based violence and district police officers, superintendents of police and station house officers had been asked to take preventive measures.
Mr Qureshi said proper investigation was carried out in such cases and the accused were arrested under Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code. He said special attention should be given to prosecute the cases for timely conclusion of trial.
The minister said nine women police stations had been set up in Karachi, Larkana, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad where female police officers were dealing with cases relating to women. Complaint units have been set up at Margalla and I-9 police stations in Islamabad.
Mr Qureshi said the AJK Legislative Assembly had added Section 174-A to the Criminal Procedure Code under which a doctor could record the statement of a woman set on fire and in the event of her death the statement would be used as evidence in a court of law.
He said all accused women were being kept in women police stations under the custody of lady police officers to protect them from gender harassment and they were interrogated in the presence of female police officers.
The minister said that according to National Alien Registration Authority there were three million illegal immigrants in the country. Of them 50,000 were from African countries and 30,000 to 35,000 of them were living in Karachi and Islamabad and adjoining villages.
He said that under the provisions of Foreigners Act, 1946, illegally aliens were apprehended by local police as well as Federal Investigation Agency.
The FIA had registered cases against four Africans in 2008, two in 2009 and only one last year.