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September 17, 2020

Govt to introduce bills for protection of women, children: PM

Top Story

September 17, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan while addressing joint sitting of the Parliament Wednesday expressed sorrow and regret over the Lahore motorway gang rape, and said the government is bringing legislation that not only protects women but also children.

"Rape should be viewed as something that destroys lives. In our culture, families suffer also, and the children, especially, have life-long trauma," said the prime minister. Imran Khan said the government will have a three-tiered approach. "Firstly, we will have registration. Sex offenders everywhere are registered. They are usually repeat offenders," he said.

"Just like Abid. He was involved in a gang rape in the past and he was able to get away with it," the premier said.

He said that far too many incidences go unreported. "We always find out that a small number is reported."

The premier said that a bill to address the issue of rape will be presented in the Parliament soon. "It will not only focus on exemplary punishment, but also conviction, to begin with, which is not easy. The kind of evidence required is very difficult to put forward."

He said that for the victim to stand in the witness box and provide a statement is also a very difficult task and so, a "comprehensive legislation" will be introduced also keeping these aspects in mind.

About the passage of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-related bills on Wednesday maintained that the interests of opposition are "at odds with Pakistan's".

“After watching attitude of the opposition on legislation relating to FATF, it has been proved that the national interests and interests of the opposition leaders are contradictory to each other,” the prime minister said.

Imran Khan said he has been able to speak on floor of the House in absence of the opposition members. “Otherwise, they do not allow me to speak in the Parliament,” he said.

The prime minister emphatically said the government was ready to cooperate with the opposition for the sake of country and democracy, but there would be no compromise on corruption. “They are using the name of opposition only to save their corruption,” the prime minister said.

As the prime minister thanked the parliamentarians for supporting the FATF legislation, he also slammed the opposition for what he said having interests opposed Pakistan’s interests. He said the attitude of the opposition leaders on Wednesday was also evident of the fact as to what they wanted to achieve. He observed that some of the leaders of the opposition parties were responsible for the situation.

Imran Khan regretted that the opposition leaders also attempted to blackmail the government and presented 34 amendments to the NAB law to protect their corruption as condition for support to the FATF legislation. “They attempted to blackmail us by using Pakistan being on grey list of the FATF as a tool, but could not succeed,” he said.

The prime minister pointed out that the government wanted to take the opposition along to bring the country out of the FATF grey list by holding negotiations with them. “However, the process of talks proved as to what the opposition desired,” he said, adding that Pakistan would have been blacklisted had it failed to pass the important bills.

He said after failing to achieve its objectives on NAB law, the opposition attempted to blackmail the government on issue of anti-money laundering legislation. “We got the anti-money laundering legislation passed not for the FATF, but for the sake of preventing money-laundering,” he said.

He said that Pakistan was not the only case, but money is also laundered from India and other third world countries and same money is being kept in London and with same money luxurious flats were purchased there. “I was also watching on social media that big fish of India after looting money are sitting outside their country,” he said.

The premier said one wonders while seeing the expensive lifestyle of Ishaq Dar and Sharif family that their ancestors spent lives not in Pakistan, but in some expensive areas of UK.

The premier said the opposition parties as a last attempt demanded removal of the NAB as investigation agency from the anti-money laundering bill. “Why you oppose the legislation if you have no fears,” the prime minister said.

He pointed out over one thousand billion dollars from poor countries are laundered to rich countries by using ways of TTs and Hundi, while money laundering of 10 billion dollars is practiced every year from Pakistan. “I ask the opposition that I am ready to compromise on every issue but will not compromise on corruption,” he maintained.

Imran Khan said the opposition also attempted to blackmail him by taking him to the court. “If I can produce record of 40 years then why the opposition leaders cannot present their money trail,” he asked.

Imran Khan said that he was expecting the opposition to praise the government's performance in controlling the COVID-19 in the country. "Not only we saved the country and lives of people, but also safeguarded our economy," he said.

He said the opposition should at least have expressed thanks to the government for the achievement. "The United Nations also presents Pakistan's case as an example in overcoming COVID-19," he said.

Meanwhile, a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan was informed that with low performance, 1,794MW power plants were being shut down immediately and in the next two years, another 1,875MW power plants will be shut down, and privatisation of 1,872MW will be completed.

Imran Khan chaired the high level meeting on power sector reforms, which was attended by federal ministers Shibli Faraz, Asad Umar, Umar Ayub Khan, Muhammadmian Soomro, Farogh Naseem, Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, special assistants Lieutenant General (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Nadeem Babar, Shahzad Qasim and Shahbaz Gill.

Imran Khan said that the people have to bear the entire burden of decisions made in the past regarding power sector, mismanagement, corruption etc. Stressing on the importance of taking forward the issues agreed upon with the IPPs, the prime minister said that the reduction in revolving loans would directly benefit the people.

The Prime Minister said that the government was working on a priority basis to make the subsidy system transparent and fair.