RAWALPINDI: A big crowd of women drawn from all sections of society yesterday demonstrated in front of the National Assembly against the proposed repeal of the Family Laws Ordinance, which provides protection to women against their husbands taking second wives without their prior consent.

Busloads of women arrived at the Assembly long before the session’s time and shouted slogans for the preservation of their rights and privileges. They also distributed handbills, expressing their resentment against the attempt to get the Family Laws Ordinance repealed.

Last week, MNA Abbas Ali had introduced a private Bill seeking the repeal of the Family Law Ordinance, which was enforced by President Ayub Khan about a year ago.

Woman demonstrators were joined by wives of Ministers and daughters of President Ayub Khan and General Musa. A deputation of women leaders also saw Law Minister Muhammad Munir and Commerce Minister Wahiduzzaman.

The latter assured them that the Government would try to save the Ordinance at all costs. He said that President Ayub was there to safeguard their rights. The women also caught hold of External Affairs Minister Mohammed Ali, and regretted that he had favoured the move to repeal the Ordinance.

The demonstrators, carrying placards in Bengali and Urdu against the proposed Bill, stopped the cars of several National Assembly Members, appealing to them to support their demand for the retention of the Ordinance. Later, busloads of women went to the President’s House to stage a similar demonstration there. — Staff Correspondent

‘Suspicious characters’

RAWALPINDI: East Pakistan’s Masihur Rahman yesterday described foreign wives of Pakistan’s diplomats as “suspicious characters”. — Agencies

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