ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill, prohibiting corporal punishment against children.
“This punishment shall be in addition to any punishment arising out of hurt or injury caused by such corporal punishment under other existing laws,” the bill added.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly Tuesday passed a bill exempting candidates from appearing in person before returning officers at the time of submitting their nomination papers.
Zahid Hamid of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) moved the bill, endorsed by the ruling PPP, which was unanimously passed to cancel the amendment made in the Representation of People’s Act 1976 by former military dictator General (r) Pervez Musharraf. Waseem Akhter from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Waqas Akram from Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) endorsed the proposed legislation.
Federal Law Minister Farooq H Naek said that Musharraf made the amendment to prevent Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif from contesting the elections.
“With this amendment in the ROPA 1976, the act will be restored to the previous position, enabling the candidates to avoid coming to returning officers if there was any threat or some other reason,” Naek said.
He explained that this law was passed to counter the uncertain security situation due to which many political leaders faced a death threat. The candidates can now send their representatives to file the nomination papers instead of coming themselves.
“After this amendment becomes an act, personal appearance of a candidate will not be mandatory. If any person desires to go to file his or her nomination papers, he can but if he does not want to do so, he cannot be compelled to appear in person at the time of filing the nomination papers,” Naek further explained.
The house passed another piece of legislation introduced by Dr Attiya Inayatullah that deals with reproductive health care to provide reproductive healthcare in accordance with the Constitution and international commitments made by the government under the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and those to which Pakistan is a party.
“Islamic injunctions say that the principal right is the right to life. This bill seeks to give legal status to this right because in Pakistan on an average 80 women die every day because of pregnancy-related complications,” said the bill.
It further said the bill seeks to promote the reproductive healthcare rights of men and women and redress the complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, which are among the leading causes and consequences of mortality and morbidity for women of reproductive age.