Ministry prepares draft bill to declare enforced disappearances a criminal offence
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said the Ministry of Human Rights has drafted a bill through amendments in Pakistan Penal Code to declare ‘enforced disappearances’ a criminal offence. She said the draft of the bill has been drafted in consultation with all stakeholders and was sent to the Law Ministry. Dr Mazari said we are committed to ensure the rule of law and protection of fundamental rights of our citizens guaranteed in the Constitution. [the_ad id="31605"] Shireen Mazari said the Ministry of Human Rights has constituted a committee comprising ministers for Interior, Law & Justice and Human Rights to look into the procedural delays and flaws in the existing system of pardon and mercy petitions. “In this regard, we have prepared reforms and summary has been forwarded to the cabinet for consideration of proposals to shorten the procedure of mercy petition”. She was addressing the audience comprising students of Sindh Madrasatul Islam University (SMIU) in Islamabad on Monday, Press Information Department reported. Besides Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh, Vice Chancellor, Sindh Madrasatul Islam University (SMIU) and faculty members of the university were also present on the occasion. “We are putting all our endeavours for the protection of human rights particularly the vulnerable segments of the society including women and children”. She said besides implementation of existing laws, ministry is devising new legislation adding that steps are being taken to protect the basic rights of every citizen in pursuance of the Constitution and international commitments. She showed her grave concerns on the worst human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir and urged the international community to come forward and raise their voice to stop the human rights violation in IOK. “Why the world was silent on the massive abuse of humanitarian laws and violations of human rights in IOK by Indian occupational forces,” she questioned. Addressing the students, she said youth become powerful tool to create awareness to stop human rights abuses against women and children. “Human Rights Ministry has already started awareness campaign for the women’s right to inheritance adding that another drive to stop child abuse would soon be started by human rights ministry”. She said the society’s mindset needs to be changed to combat harassment of women adding that harassment faced by women is a global issue. “We have legislation in various areas including the law for protection of rights of transgender people adding that a separate ward for transgender people have already been established at PIMS giving them free medical treatment. She said all provincial health ministers had been asked to set up separate wards for transgender people.