PPPP backs Hudood repeal bill
By Waqar Gillani
LAHORE: The Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) has announced it supports the Protection and Empowerment of Women Act 2003 bill which includes the repeal of the Hudood Ordinance, quashing reports that the bill was an effort by a single MP. Sherry Rehman of the PPPP and other MPs moved the bill in the National Assembly.
Makhdoom Amin Fahim, head of the PPPP and chairman of the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD), told Daily Times on Monday his party supported the bill moved by Ms Rehman. He said the PPPP would try to get the support of other parties and start a constructive debate in the house, which he expected to be heated.
“Ms Rehman is our honorable party and assembly member. The bill moved she moved gives voice to the party members.” He said the PPPP wanted this bill to be debated in the assembly to break down barriers to women’s empowerment.
Asked whether the party wanted the Hudood Ordinance repealed or amended, Mr Fahim said this was part of the debate. Asked to comment on reports that the Muthida Majlis-e-Amal was told that the bill was an individual effort from an MP, Mr Fahim said he had publicly stated at a recent seminar by a non- governmental organisation in Islamabad that the PPPP was behind the bill. He said the bill had already been discussed in women’s committee meetings of the party and they were keen to raise the issue.
The Protection of Women Bill 2003 addresses domestic violence, education and property rights. The bill also includes a repeal of the Hudood Ordinance, the prohibition of honour killings, freedom of choice in marriage, the right to a basic education and a female employment quota. The text of the bill, which was moved to the National Assembly on October 10, calls for the end of gender discrimination under the Constitution.
The bill was moved and signed by Ms Rehman and 11 other female parliamentarians of the PPPP. The bill has been endorsed by the provincial and central women’s committees of the PPPP. Benazir Bhutto’s consent was also secured before preparing and moving this bill.