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December 22, 2016

Only democratic system can provide solution to problems: Bilawal


December 22, 2016

 Book launching

KARACHI: Chairman Pakistan People's Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that his opposition political party had presented four demands to the government in order to wage a practical struggle against the menace of extremism and terrorism in the country.

Implementation on these four demands would make possible implementation on the National Action Plan against terrorism, said the PPP’s chairman as he spoke here at the Arts Council on Wednesday at the launching ceremony of book “Honour Unmasked” written by the People's Party’s MNA Nafisa Shah. The book is written on the subject of atrocities being committed against women in the country, including the issue of honour killings.

Bilawal Bhutto said on the occasion that People's Party had always done struggle for securing human rights, specially for ensuring rights to women. He said the People's Party supported the cause of provision and safeguarding of fundamental rights to all citizens of Pakistan.

He said that killings being done in the name of honour were not just an issue of any single city or village but in fact it was an issue of the entire country. Such incidents didn’t just take place in Sindh alone but also occurred in Lahore, Murree and at several other places where either women and girls were killed or they were burnt alive.

He underlined the need to do more legislation for prevention of such incidents and for safeguarding women as effective steps should taken to this effect both at the federal and provincial levels. He said it was definitely a cause of concern that despite existence of a set of laws in the country, crimes against women were continuously being committed. He said that every child and woman should be given protection in accordance with the vision of her late mother Benazir Bhutto.

He lamented the situation that concerned people faced hardships in getting justice despite existence of relevant laws as the most glaring case in this regard was that of her mother Benazir Bhutto as still justice was being denied in the matter of her killing.

“We should do efforts that a criminal should be brought to justice whether he is present in any form or level. We want such system of justice in the country, which recognises every criminal on basis of his criminality,” said PPP’s chairman.

He recalled that the Sindh Assembly overwhelmingly dominated by lawmakers of PPP had adopted several effective legislations for protection of women’s rights, to safeguard women against torture, and to prevent instances of forced marriages. He said the PPP’s Sindh government was willing to get passed more such laws for the cause of women.

He said that such laws should be passed as Pakistan was included in the global list comprising 148 countries where instances of torture against women did occur even in the present day.

He said the People's Party had full belief in democracy as it was the faith of the party that a democratic system could only provide solution to problems of people. He said the country lacked in its performance for safeguarding the rights of women and children when it comes to judging this performance at international level.

Speaking on the occasion, former Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that Islamic injunctions should rightly be understood by people in order to prevent instances of killings of women in the name of honour. He said that an instance of murder would always remain murder, as such a heinous criminal act could never be condoned while concealing it in the name of honour.

He said that the previous PPP’s federal government had declared killings in the name of honour an act of heinous crime as a culprit involved in such an instance could be awarded 10-year rigorous imprisonment. He said that the writer of the book had recommended effective proposals for countering instances of crimes being committed against women.

Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Khan Durrani, speaking on the occasion, said that Nafisa Shah’s book would prove to be helpful in countering excesses and atrocities to be committed against women in the country in future. He expressed satisfaction that the Sindh Assembly had passed several laws for safeguarding interests and rights of women.

The writer of the book said that the cause of her book was to provide justice to women who had been victimised through acts of torture and other atrocities and also to awaken consciences of the society.

While Bilawal Bhutto remained inside the main auditorium of Arts Council to attend the book launching ceremony, increased security measures on the outside MR Kayani Road caused serious congestion in flow of vehicular traffic during the evening rush hours, causing hardships to commuters. Due to heightened security measures, a number of bona fide members of the Arts Council were denied entry inside the premises of its building.