National Assembly passes two human rights bills for Islamabad

Published April 20, 2021
In this file photo, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari speaks in the National Assembly. — DawnNewsTV/File
In this file photo, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari speaks in the National Assembly. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: The treasury and opposition members of the National Assembly.on Monday joined hands to pass two human rights related bills for Islamabad.

Both the Islamabad Capital Territory Senior Citizens Bill and the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2020 were moved by human rights minister Dr Shireen Mazari.

The senior citizens bill also proposed the establishment of a senior citizens council and an old-age home. According to the bill, the division concerned shall establish and maintain an old age-home to be known as Darul Shafqat at an accessible place to accommodate indigent senior citizens of Islamabad.

In the statement of objects for the senior citizens bill, the human rights minister stated: “It is duty of the state to provide protection, either directly or by means of institutions established to provide financial assistance to senior citizens. Every person has the inherent right to a healthy and comfortable home, a healthy diet, adequate clothing, care of physical and moral health, as well as right to means of recreation, work stability and respect.”

Shireen Mazari had moved senior citizens, domestic violence bills in the lower house

“The bill aims to socially and economically protect the senior citizens of Islamabad. In this respect, it aims to establish a fund for these senior citizens. It also creates a council, including members from all relevant departments of the government that shall ensure that all possible steps and acts are taken to provide for the wellbeing, comfort and dignity of these senior citizens,” read the bill.

Meanwhile, in the statement of objects of the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, the minister stated: “The Constitution through the fundamental rights enshrined in it mandates the state of Pakistan to protect its citizens from unlawful deprivation of life and liberty and holds inviolable the dignity of every person. It also declares all citizens to be equal before the law and prohibits any discrimination based on gender. These rights to life, dignity and non-discrimination are violated through acts of domestic violence which are systematic and widespread and occur regardless of age or socio-economic status. Besides, under UNHR conventions ratified by government of Pakistan particularly Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, states are obliged to take legislative measures for protection of women in domestic life.”

It said through this act, a legal and institutional framework has been proposed for territorial jurisdiction of Islamabad to ensure that victims of domestic violence are provided legal protection and relief and the perpetrators of this offence are punished.

After the passage of bill, Dr Mazari appreciated the members for supporting the bill while PPP’s Dr Nafeesa Shah also lauded the house for passing the legislation related to human rights.

Meanwhile, five other bills were also introduced in the National Assembly that included Juvenile Justice System (Amendment) Bill 2021, the Islamabad Capital Territory Child Protection (Amendment) Bill 2021, the Holy Quran (Elimination of Printing and Recording Errors) (Amendment) Bill 2021, the State Owned Enterprises (Governance and Operations) Bill 2021 and the Jammu and Kashmir (Administration of Property) (amendment) Bill 2021. These bills were referred by Speaker Asad Qaiser to concerned standing committees.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2021

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