Pakistan

AIP expresses concerns over plight of women, minorities in Punjab

women-

LAHORE: Amnesty International Pakistan (AIP) has expressed its serious concerns over the plight of women, minorities and children in the country’s largely populated province Punjab, during a meeting with the provincial authorities on Saturday.

While the government authorities clarified AIP that efforts were being made to uplift the said sections and no legislation which deprived them from their due rights would take place including the recommendations of Islamic Ideological Council (IIC) for women.

Well informed sources said that during the meeting held at civil secretariat the three- member AIP delegation conveyed its reservations to the government team, which comprised Punjab law minister, provincial minister for human rights and minister for women affairs.

The sources said that AIP was of the view that the provincial government had failed to fulfill its claim to up lift the socio-economic position of women and minorities in the last three years.

AIP members apprised the meeting that thousands of women were victimized during 2015 and first quarter of the current year. Most of them were deprived of their basic right to get the legal remedies, sources claimed.

AIP also indicated that the government has no more interest to implement the prevailing laws dealing with women, minorities and juvenile right.

According to the data gathered by AIP women and girls continued to face violence and threats. At least 4,308 cases of violence against women and girls were reported for the first six months of 2015. The figure included 709 cases of murder; 596 of rape and gang rape; 36 of sexual assault; 186 of so-called “honour” crimes; and 1,020 of kidnapping. Despite the enactment of the Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Act in 2011, at least 40 acid attack cases were recorded between January and June.

Despite efforts in recent years to enact legislation protecting women from violence, laws remained in force under which female rape victims can be convicted for adultery. Women continued to be denied equality and protection in law, a situation exacerbated by factors including the absence of legislation against incest and a gender-insensitive criminal justice system.

On the other hand talking to the said correspondent provincial minister for human rights and minority affairs Khalil Tahir Sindhu has rejected the reservations of AIP said that government is putting its efforts to ensure the rights of women, minorities and children. Minister claimed that including him no sensible man could follow the recommendations of IIC regarding women, provincial government would stand with its women rights bill. He said that for minority rights government was following the United Nations 27 conventions. Over the minority rights minister said that AIP was told that in Punjab 221 cases of blasphemy has been registered including 21 against the non-Muslims.

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