By Shakeel Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Monday said it is the responsibility of the entire nation to play its due role in protecting women’s rights and curbing gender based violence.
He was addressing an event jointly organised by the Ministry of Law and the European Union Delegation in Pakistan in connection with International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. The president said we must think about society’s role as the stick of the law comes later. He stressed the need to create awareness among masses to end harassment and violence against women.
He said there is sufficient legislation in Pakistan regarding women rights, which needs to be implemented in letter and spirit. He said ethos of laws regarding women rights in Pakistan come from Islam, which granted property rights to ladies.
President Alvi said we should discourage the tendency of forcing women to gift their inherited property to their male relatives.
The president said Ulema, especially the Council of Islamic Ideology, have a bigger role to play in protecting women’s rights. He said focus of the Friday sermons in mosques should be made on women’s rights. He called for effective use of films, dramas and social media tools to create awareness and to protect women’s rights. He stressed the need to create enabling environment, where women can feel safe and protected to work and move around.
Speaking on the occasion, Law Minister Farogh Nasim said that a number of laws and statues are there in Pakistan which safeguard women’s rights in the country. He said the government has introduced a law to protect women’s property rights as a financially independent woman plays a vital role to create a vibrant society.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said there is no justification of violence against women and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf strongly believes in protecting women’s rights. He said 55 action plans have been undertaken by the PTI Government to deal with the menace of violence against women.
EU Ambassador to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara said that violence against women not only affects an individual, but also hurts the very fabric of the society. She said creating awareness against gender based violence, promotion of girls’ education and gender parity are key priority areas of the European Union.
Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi Monday said that the unilateral and illegal actions taken by the fascist Indian government, violating the human rights of the people of Kashmir, were a continuation of BJP’s hostile and restrictive attitude towards all its minorities, as reflected in a 113-day long clamp-down in Kashmir. The president was talking to outgoing Ambassador of Sudan, Tageldin Elhadi Eltahir, who paid farewell call on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr, says a press release. The President urged the international community to persuade India to abide by its responsibility to uphold the basic human rights of all its citizens. He said Pakistan valued its friendship with Sudan and held the country in high esteem. However, the current volume of bilateral trade was not commensurate to the true potential, he observed. He said that the proactive measures were needed to enhance the quantum of bilateral and underscored that Pakistan could offer skilled manpower for banking, medical, textile and agriculture sectors as well as the development of infrastructure in Sudan.
The president appreciated the services of the outgoing ambassador of Sudan in furthering the bilateral relations between the two countries during his tenure in Pakistan and wished him well for his future assignments.
By Shakeel Ahmed