ISLAMABAD: The gruesome murder of a 27-year-old woman in the capital last week echoed in the National Assembly on Friday as members belonging to both treasury and opposition especially women demanded exemplary punishment for the alleged murderer.
The National Assembly, which met here with Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, started debate on the issue of Noor Mukadam, the daughter of a former diplomat, who was found beheaded on July 20.
Taking part in the debate, the female lawmakers from across the aisle, were unanimous in seeking justice for Noor, saying there should be no mercy for the alleged murderer no matter which country’s nationality he holds.
They said that this is a test case, and the police should set an example out it, adding the man, Zahir Jaffer, who is the son of a business tycoon, Zakir Jaffer, should be brought to book for the heinous crime he had committed.
Speaking in the House, Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said no justification is acceptable for torture and violence against women.
“If a woman is not safe in a city like Islamabad, where else they can be safe…we need to change the mentality if we are serious about ending the violence against women in the country,” she added.
In the same breath, she said that there is a need to understand that she is a woman first and then she is a mother, sister, mother, wife, etc, adding there is a need to give respect to woman in order to end honour killing.
“Which respect you’re talking about by killing a woman in the name of honour killing? Unless you accept the woman as a woman, and those [men] who subject them to violence, are not taken to task, there will be no end to these kinds of violence,” she added.
Mazari said that there should be toughest laws to deal with cases involving violence and brutal murder of women, adding there are laws which need to be implemented, but we need to change the anti-women mentality in the society.
Addressing fellow women lawmakers, she called upon them to make themselves strong enough, so that no man can dare even look towards them, adding she stands by every woman in the country no matter whether she is right or wrong as violence against women is in no way acceptable.
She said that the police are investigating the matter in the right direction, but the media is spreading false information, which must stop, as through misleading information, they are not serving the victim’s family.
Khurram Dastgir Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said that the prime minister and his interior minister will be directly held responsible, if justice is denied in the case.
He said that this gruesome murder took place in Islamabad and it is not a provincial matter, adding this is a test case for the parliament and we all must stand up with the family of the victim to ensure justice.
“This House makes legislation so it's the responsibility of this House to ensure justice in Noor Mukadam case. You cannot put the blame on any province as in this case, the prime minister and his interior minister will be held responsible directly,” he maintained.
He reiterated that the people have pinned high hopes on the federal government, the prime minister and the interior minister as it took place right under their nose, and we are hopeful, the murderer will be brought to book.
He called upon women lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to ensure justice to the victim's family, adding that justice should prevail in this particular case, so that the provinces follow suit in future.
Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul said that for the first time, the government is becoming plaintiff in murder and rape cases against women and children.
She said that Islamabad Police have established a gender protection unit and anyone can call on 8090 for help against women harassment and child abuse.
Earlier, speaking in the House, the members from both sides of the aisle strongly condemned gruesome acts of violence against women and children, especially barbaric murder of Noor Mukaddam.
They demanded exemplary punishments for the culprits and protection for the victims.
They also emphasised on Islamic teachings for ethical grooming of the youth.
The House will now meet again on Monday at 5pm.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021