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Domestic Violence Bill Pakistan - Pakistan

Domestic Violence Bill Pakistan

Posted by Aneela Shahzad on

I am not a lawyer or a constitutionalist, but I am a mother and a wife; I do not weaken the strength of my household by making my children aware of their rights against their father or myself, but by making them aware that they are living in a state of welfare in the good-will and good-faith of their parents. In the due process we as parent, may several times be hurting their egos or abusing our authorities or inflicting upon them psychologically, but we insist that this is for their good. I believe Allah has given some amount of immunity to the head of the household, for the smooth governance of the matters of the household.

Wherein all fathers cannot be perfect and some can be criminally bad and they should be dealt with, severely, but their conduct cannot be pasted on the face of the whole society. Which is what I think, this new bill of ‘domestic violence’ will bring. This bill is a haphazard, cut and paste from the constitutions of difference countries, like the Philippines and others, which are essentially not Islamic. It’s espouse to the UN conventions make it essentially feminist and some of its clauses take a head-on clash with our religion. There is no protection, in the bill, for the male members of the family, who might not be dependent but in in-numerous cases are subject to psychological abuse from their sexual counterparts on gender bases. Neither does it show console with the victims that have been abused or used by the feminine part of the family. I believe such to be inevitable because of the inability of mere clauses to cover all the hurt, misuse and psychological trauma words can inflict. Even so, let’s be a little objective and observe some clauses of the bill:

The clause of Definitions 2(f), giving the definition of domestic relations identifies marriage to be equal to, ‘or either or both believed they were married to each other, including marriage according to any law, religion, custom or usage’ which might not be marriage under any religion or law OR  ’they share or recently shared the same residence’ which legitimizes ‘living together without  marriage’, which cuts off the Islamic way of living at the roots.

The clause (5) is ridiculous in defining the ‘informant’ using the terms ‘any person’ who has ‘reason to believe’ that violence ‘is likely to be committed’ and provides information in ‘good faith’; this is giving precedence of good faith of informant or complainant over the good faith of the father or husband, will he not right away falsify the accusation in ‘good faith’.

The clause (6) makes the privacy/safety of any household or even the victim totally vulnerable to the authority of the female or male union councilor cum protection team, whereby s/he  can enter any premises without written complaint from the victim or any of his/her family members and merely at the demise of the informant trustworthy to the protection team. Giving her/him power of terrorizing anyone in her jurisdiction as the clause 7(7) says that ‘No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Protection Team or any member thereof for any act done or purported to be done in good faith in the discharge of duties under this Act, except as provided for in section 15(which again is unclear about any punishment for her/him).

The clause 2(g) which mentions the physically accountable crimes such as hurt, wrongful confinement, criminal force, assault, mischief, criminal intimidation, fails to explain its requirement when they are already covered under law and enforced under a policing and jailing system, whereby the protection team and the magistrate become something like a state within a state. And wherein all the other crimes mentioned are in no way physically measureable and are therefore left to the grace, good-faith and award of the protection team and the magistrate and of course the good-faith of the informant.

Moreover there will be a ‘Family conciliatory Committee’ which will work between the proceedings of the protection team and the magistrate, thereby being a third court, wherein the chairperson will try to ‘befriend’ the victim and the respondent (the criminal), so that they would happily go back to their home. As to, why this council would try to reconcile such a matter as, taken up on good-faith of the protection team and bad-faith of the respondent and turn it around wherein putting good-faith in the bad-faithed-respondent. Or is it going to be a merry-go-round or rather a maze of confusion wherein the victim and the respondent will surely forget why they entered.

Therefore in short amid all the terror prevailing our country, a new cane of terror will be unleashed in the society, upon the ill-faith prejudged against the male gender, whereby letting bare-open the security and stability signified in a closed and private society, where the provider (father/husband) is the controller and governor and the family has good-faith in him. Awareness will be warranted, to the women and the young girls of all classes, but especially the un-educated class, where the social-workers really put their trap; an awareness that they have rights and power to break away from the male, from the family and from the moral standards set by the olds. The same power and right that was abused by the male, will it not be abused equally by the female; when she comes from the same up-bringing, the same levels of empathy, the same socio/economic constraints. Is this not then, the feminist agenda, to cleave apart the bond that binds the two genders together, with the awareness that ‘he is oppressing her’, that ‘he is her enemy’.

All this preamble is not to defend criminal misconduct of any gender, neither is it to justify that awareness is essentially bad. It is to justify that biased, one-sided awareness is dangerous and un-lawful. It is to impress that economic, emotional, psychological and verbal abuse are very relative terms, the essence of which easily changes with the use of words and the day by day situations. Negligence, abuse and harm may not be so easy to measure and would look different to different members of a family.

Common sense tell me that social problems in a society will be cured by social means not by the whip, it is the duty of the state to impose law and police over its populace but its primer duty is to educate them, not with law but with moral values. The state needs to inculcate virtues in its men and in its women; the state needs to feed the models of modesty, love, support, honour, bravery, dignity and sacrifice into the minds of the populace from every possible medium that approaches their thinking. God and Godliness have to be preached into the hearts and the minds; when the eyes will be set high, the gaze will not set upon the lowly. But alas! What is the state feeding us, from every medium of information; lust, sex, materialism, individual fulfillment; until when one finds oneself; one is disgraceful as a national, vacant as a believer and barren as a human. This deliberate education of westernizing and Indian-izing, wherein the eye and the ear loose the war of patience and are dragged into desperation, they will do what they see, they will say what they hear.

Love, respect and support that the man, woman and the child all need equally, will not be won by war, blames and prosecutions; they will be attained by patience, by sitting in the people with stories of wisdom and valour; by giving back to the people the culture of reverence, wherein goodness is aspired for the love of it, wherein chastity, forbearance and self-restraint are the vogue of the day. This is the duty of the state, obtainable only by virtue of the social-worker, the preacher, the modeler, but shamefully so, our social work sector does not want to sit in, talk to, commune with the society, educate them in social gathering, preach the good and use the beautiful lesson of our religion as a means to change the hearts and minds. It looks like our social-workers don’t have time for that, they cannot come out of their drawing rooms, all they can do is look out of their glossy panes and tell the whole world how bad it is out their; how bad the man is, how oppressed the woman is, and want to arrest the sole-earner of the family in their cage of abuse; they want to police; don’t we already have one set of corrupt police in hand. Is there no immunity for the father, the husband, does he have no good-faith, can he manage the household without power; you give full immunity to the president when he is responsible for 18 crore people; he has no relation with most of us; but the father the husband, you start with him in disgrace and disbelief, does he have no empathy, will he have the moral status of a just governor, when all the good-will in and around him has been shattered. Well we shouldn’t be surprised! The workers of the imperialist agenda have imposed shame on our rulers, they live and work in disgrace, now they want every man in the country to live like that. Thanks to our gender-biased feminist social workers.