Criminal charges will be included in harassment law: Malik | Pakistan Today

Criminal charges will be included in harassment law: Malik

ISLAMABAD – Minister for Interior Rehman Malik on Sunday said that the government was seriously mulling to include criminal charges in the harassment law, including three years imprisonment.
He was addressing the concluding day of conference on ‘Gender Discrimination in Media and Capacity Building for Female Journalists’ arranged by the National Press Club (NPC). Malik said that the government would implement the “Anti-Sexual Harrasment Act” at grass-root level and introduce severe imprisonment for the people who indulge in women harassment, particularly at work place.
He said that committees would also be formed at provincial level to deal with harassment issues while claiming that empowerment of women was the part of manifesto of Pakistan People’s Party. Informing about the committees, he said the committees will comprise of home secretaries, members of Women Division and inspector general police and sub-committee of four female journalists headed by senior journalist Rubab Ayesha.
“Sub committee of female journalists would forward recommendations to ‘Harassment Action Committee’ and strict action will be taken against the culprits to ensure the safety for women,” he added. Commenting on the problems of women prisoners, he informed that steps are being taken to have representation of women police in all the police stations to handle the cases of females.
He claimed that out of 1 million unnamed sims, interior ministry blocked more then 80 percent of them. “Women cells and protection committees would be established at every police station in which the women journalists would also be given representation,” he said. Rehman Malik also announced cash assistance Rs 100,000 from the government for a blind girl Ammara from Goggi Studios. Speaking on the occasion, BISP chairperson Farzana Raja said that the PPP was taking Benazir’s mission forward.
She said that Rs 78 billion had been disbursed among the deserving people under BISP while around four million beneficiaries were getting financial assistance and the number will reach up to five to seven million by the end of June. Advising the women journalists, the BISP chairwoman said that women journalists should stay away from yellow journalism and always prefer national interest over the individual interest.
MNA Rubina Sadaat, Nilofar Bakhtiar, Chairperson of National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) Anis Haroon, President NPC, Afzal Butt, Fauzia Saeed along with number of female journalists from Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan and Hyderabad participated in the conference.

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