ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Wednesday said the true implementation of laws on women property rights across the country was inevitable for their empowerment, by doing away with the cultural traditions contradicting the Islamic injunctions.
The president, addressing the launching ceremony of Awareness Campaign on Enforcement of Women Property Rights Legislation in Pakistan, said the financial inclusion of women was also equally essential for their empowerment and self-dependence.
Emphasizing the encouragement of women to go into business, he said in today’s era of modern technology, the women could also establish their businesses while being at home.
He repeatedly emphasized the role of media and Ulema to help change the society’s attitude towards the provision of women property rights, which had been guaranteed under Islam as well the Constitution of Pakistan.
The president said by incorporating awareness messages in their dramas and other programmes, the media could contribute to aware the women about their rights and the tools available for their protection.
Similarly, the Ulema could also utilize their pulpit to convey the message effectively and rectify the cultural traditions depriving the women of their rights, he added.
Referring to the lynching incidents in Sialkot and Mian Channu, the president said the perpetrators of such incidents were in fact naive to the teachings of Islam, which never allowed the mobs to hold courts on the roads and kill even a mentally deranged person on charges of blasphemy.
President Alvi said though Islam had guaranteed the women property rights 1400 years ago but it could not be materialized in the society for being influenced by the cultural traditions.
The president spoke high of the Balochistan High Court’s verdict of not allowing the transfer of a woman’s inherited property to anyone prior to her ownership.
He also committed to taking up the matter with the Balochistan chief minister to adopt the women’s property laws being implemented in Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said the awareness campaign would also guide the deprived women to approach the ombudsmen offices for their rights and the number of such women could be in millions.
President Alvi also urged the ombudsmen to publicise their decisions, which would aware the women about the remedies available for their property rights.
Besides Begum Samina Alvi, federal ministers, ombudsmen and parliamentarians; a number of diplomats from different countries also attended the ceremony for whom the Presidency arranged live English interpretation – a feature introduced permanently to translate the usually Urdu-medium proceedings of the events.
Law Minister Barrister Farogh Nasim said the law would cater for the 50% population and requested the Ulema to play their role for awareness because, as per Islam and Constitution, it was mandatory, not optional, to provide property rights to the women.
He said through the ombudsmen offices, the law would provide for giving property rights to the women within months. He also requested the Balochistan government to formulate similar laws.
The law minister referred to various articles of the Constitution, which guaranteed equal rights and services to the women.
He said the issuance of the succession certificate by NADRA (National Database Registration Authority) within 15 days was a major step that otherwise used to take years.
The minister also told the gathering that the Federal Cabinet had principally approved the establishment of a special court for the overseas Pakistanis.
Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Maleeka Bukhari appreciated President Alvi and Begum Samina Alvi for taking keen interest in the women-specific issues and legislation.
She said the women’s property rights legislation was in fact the fulfillment of the commitment made by Prime Minister Imran Khan during his electioneering and was also part of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s manifesto.
Chairman of Council of Islamic Ideology Dr Qibla Ayaz said the women in no way could be deprived of their property rights.
He said through the Ehsaas Programme and business loans schemes, the government was playing an active role in the women’s empowerment to make them play an active role in the society.