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Home > Country profiles > Pakistan > Articles > Article detail

Blog: A sneak attack

Wednesday, 9th February 2017

"Just when you begin to have a glimmer of hope for progress in Pakistan, they go and do something so regressive that it shocks the boots off everyone. Our esteemed National Assembly has passed a bill legalising the jirga and panchayat systems. Of all the self-defeating legislations we could have worked on we chose one that is so archaic on all intellectual levels that it should have been disbanded along with slavery. Instead, our elected representatives decided to reward bad behaviour by giving it legal cover. Have we already forgotten Mukhtaran Mai or Ambreen, the 16-year-old killed and set on fire on the orders of the jirga for helping her friend run away with the man she wanted to marry?...What is more shocking than this Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Bill, 2016, is the fact that only 23 MNAs out of 342 were actually present in the assembly when the bill was put up for vote i.e. the bill was passed by less than 8 percent of the legislators without anyone of them objecting to the lack of quorum even though opposition leaders like PTI’s Shafqat Mehmood and Dr Shireen Mazari and PPP’s Nafisa Shah were present on the floor. That's how easily and swiftly the responsibility to provide justice in the most vulnerable areas of the country was gifted to one of the most notorious segments of society. This goes on to reinforce the reality of democratic autocracy in Pakistan."

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Language: English
Contact: Munazza Siddiqui

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