20 September, 2011

Acid crime Bill may lapse within next 30 days

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) has expressed its concern that if the Bill against acid crimes was not adopted within 30 days, it would lapse and lose its credibility. In a statement issued here on Monday, NCSW noted that on one hand the incidents of acid crimes are on the rise in the country while on the other hand, the Bill against acid crimes, which has been passed by the National Assembly, is at a standstill as it awaits the approval of the Senate. “This significant bill may lose its credibility and would meet similar fate like Domestic Violence Bill, if it is not adopted within next 30 days” NCSW official told Pakistan Observer.

The members of NCSW expressed astonishment at the incidents in Balochistan, where women are facing threats such as acid attacks and abduction. Recently, three women were severely injured when acid was thrown on women school teachers in Quetta; while Nilofer Abadan, a businesswoman, who was abducted earlier, had still not been recovered.

The Commission also expressed serious concern at the easy availability of acid across the country and condemned the impunity and non-conviction of culprits in Violence Against Women cases. In a resolution, passed in the meeting of NCSW, it was urged that “efforts should be made to make stringent laws to ban free selling and buying of acid; and those changes be brought in the procedural law to bring those who are guilty of violence against women to justice.”

Efforts of the women parliamentarians in piloting and supporting laws providing justice to women in the lower house were appreciated at the meeting, however it was mentioned that such efforts were not given due priority in the upper house, which rescind the positive steps taken to provide relief to the women. It was resolved at the meeting that the resolution should be brought to the notice of the Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly, the Secretary Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Human Rights.