QUETTA: Caretaker Federal Minister for Human Rights Khalil George on Friday said Balochistan is the first of Pakistan’s provinces to pass the most legislation for the rights of women and has the least number of reported cases regarding violence against women.
Addressing a seminar titled ‘Empower HER: Advocating Women’s Rights and Combating Gender Based Violence’ organized by the Ministry of Human Rights here, he said development and prosperity are possible only when equal rights of women and non-gender violence in society were ensured.
Khalil George said he has contacted other provinces’ chief ministers to establish a Human Rights Department in their provinces.
The minister said the government has been working to empower women and to ensure opportunities for them in every sector because their role is vital to the country’s development and no society can progress without women’s participation and protection of their freedoms and rights, which was why a bill regarding the prevention of marriage of girls less than eighteen years of age has been approved in the Senate.
Khalil George said that the Ministry of Human Rights has prepared an action plan to protect the rights of women and disabled people and the Prime Minister’s Youth Program included a plan to randomly distribute 5000 scooters to women across the country.
Regional Director Human Rights Isfandyar Buledi, Deputy Director Aziz Iqbal, Chairperson for Balochistan Commission for Status of Women Fauzia Shaheen also addressed the event attended by a large number of people including women and people from minority religions.
However, despite the minister’s claims, reports suggest that the plight of Balochistan’s women is no better than chattel and to many, the thought of reporting crimes against women, no matter how serious, does noes not occur and go unreported as a matter of propriety.
In the recent past, Balochistan minister Sanaullah Zehri is on record to have vociferously claimed that was how things were in Balochistan because that was the norm and such were the customs in that backward province, implying that hence it was nothing to be ashamed of. ‑APP/NP