Withdrawal of Minorities Bill under pressure will create a worrying precedent: Pak Senator

Karachi [Pakistan]: A Pakistani Senator has warned that the withdrawal of Protection of Minorities Bill, unanimously passed by elected members of the provincial assembly, due to mounting pressure of the clerics, will create a worrying precedent.

Senator Farhatullah Babar, while speaking at a conference on ‘Challenges to civic freedoms in Pakistan’ on Thursday, said: “Withdrawing a bill before the governor has put his signature on it won’t be a proper step.”

He said the legislators should have waited till the governor had signed the bill and then they could have carried out the required and necessary amendments, reports the Dawn.

“Plus, the reservation of the religious bloc against the bill that declared marriage of anyone under the age of 18 as unconstitutional is not reasonable. Removal of this clause will undermine the law,” he added.

Some parts of the recent legislation did not go down well with the clerics, which the speakers pointed out and discussed at length.

Sindh Human Rights Commission of Pakistan chairperson retired Justice Majida Rizvi said: “If the age factor is taken out of the bill, it will mean depriving the law of its teeth.”

She said it was the duty of civil society and the stakeholders to raise their voice whenever the authorities failed to implement the law.

“I don’t know why the government is paying heed to the clerics. It’s probably because of the elections but these sections don’t [form] a large vote bank,” she argued. (ANI)