Tuesday, January 31, 2023

President Dr Arif Alvi signs Zainab Alert Bill


ISLAMABAD: The law devised for the response and recovery of missing children goes into effect as President Dr Arif Alvi signed Zainab Alert Bill, ARY News reported on Thursday.

President Dr Arif Alvi promulgated Zainab Alert Bill that will pave way for the establishment of a free helpline for rapid response and recovery of missing children. The president said the legislation was very effective to curb cases of child abduction by the formulation of a framework of police and administration to recover missing children at earliest.

He added that the law will assist further improvement for tracing out culprits through the usage of modern techniques.

On March 4, the Senate of Pakistan had passed Zainab Alert Bill 2020 which defines the law for the response and recovery of missing children.

According to the recent amendments passed by the Senate Standing Committee Human Rights, the police would be bound to register FIR of the missing child and action would be taken against the officers, denying to lodge the report.

The cases related to child rape cases will be heard by special judges.

A helpline 1099 will be established under the law besides the constitution of an agency to take immediate action after responding complaints about abduction, murder and rape of minor children, read the bill.

The bill was presented by Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) opposed the bill. The bill is being presented for the approval in haste, said PML-N lawmaker Javed Abbasi, citing that the tenure of proposed punishment for the accused is short in the bill.

Federal Minister Shafqat Mehmood and PTI Senator Faisal Javed requested the house to pass the bill as the nation is waiting for its passage. The bill remained in discussion in the NA, standing committee and now is in Senate, we can make amendments in it in future, they added.

Later, the bill was passed with a majority of votes.

About Zainab rape, murder case

The bill is named after Zainab Ansari, who had been kidnapped on January 4 and found from a garbage heap on January 9. Zainab’s autopsy report suggested that the minor was sexually assaulted before being strangulated to death.

On January 21, the Supreme Court gave three days’ time to a joint investigation team formed to probe the rape and murder of Zainab to track down the culprit.

The JIT arrested the culprit named Imran Arshad on January 23 after the DNA proved that he was behind the rape and murder of Zainab and at least eight other girls from Kasur.

The rapist had been handed a total of three counts of death penalty and Rs2.5million in fine in another case of child sexual abuse.

Imran Arshad, who was already awarded four counts of the death penalty, one life term, 7-year jail term and Rs4.1 million in fines back in February for raping and murdering a seven-year-old girl named Zainab in Kasur, had confessed sexually abusing at least eight minor girls.

Imran Ali, who was awarded death penalty in the rape and murder case of seven-year-old Zainab, had met his ultimate fate on October 17.

Ali was hanged to death at 5:30 am at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Central Jail. He was executed in the presence of Judicial Magistrate Adil Sarwar, the deceased’s father, Muhammad Amin, and her uncle.


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