LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly women’s caucus passed a resolution on Friday asking the law minister to have the pending Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Bill of 2015 passed in the ongoing session of the assembly.

The resolution states the chief minister had in 2012 promised the adoption of the bill but it has been pending since then. The present form of the bill fully ensured the protection of women, and should therefore be passed without any alteration or further delay.

It also states the copies of the resolution were also sent to the chief minister and the assembly speaker for consideration.

The meeting of the caucus also elected its new body under Dr Farzana Nazir. Up to 52 women MPAs were present.

In a meeting held during the budget session on June 24 all reservations of the legislatures and civil society on the bill were addressed by the officials. The meeting was presided over by Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and attended by former Supreme Court Bar Association President Asma Jehangir and lawyer Azam Nazir Tarar.

The amendments made as a result of the meeting were forwarded to the chief minister who also approved them. But, the amended bill has yet to be signed by the law minister and presented in the Punjab Assembly.

Earlier, the bill was tabled in the assembly on June 11 after lengthy deliberations spanning three years but was retracted by the law minister on the ground that the house was divided on it.

The bill has twice been approved by the Punjab cabinet and also been approved by the standing committee.

It contains remedies for victims (women) of violence and also provides them with special centers which remove the usual red tape hurdles that strategically impair a woman’s quest for justice.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2015

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