Punjab assembly Wednesday adopted the Punjab Shehr-e-Khamoshan Authority Act and the Punjab Women Protection Authority Act.
As per the Act, the Punjab Shehr-e-Khamoshan Authority will construct, maintain and monitor standardized inclusive graveyards. The Authority is further to work in consultation with the concerned local governments to carry out its functions. The Shehr-e-Khamoshan Authority will ensure the delivery of services including prayer services, ghusl, mortuary, hearse services as well as services of cremation and burial services for Non-Muslim communities in separate cemeteries.
Likewise, the Punjab Women Protection Authority Bill 2017 was also promulgated on the 11th of April 2017 by the Governor Punjab. The Bill was then approved by the Standing Committee on Social Welfare and Bait-ul-Maal Department on the 16th May 2017. The Punjab Women Protection Authority will construct, maintain, monitor and operate Violence Against Women Centres for women survivors of violence, the first of which has been operational in Multan since the 25th of March, 2017.
These one-stop shop justice delivery centers are to provide services including medico-legal, forensics, police, prosecution, mediation and psychological aid and rehabilitation. As per the Act, the Women Protection Authority will have adequate female representation in its main structure. The amendments proposed by the opposition were adequately addressed and defended by the Minister Human Rights, Mr. Tahir Khalil Sindhu.
Both the authorities will have a semi-autonomous, technocratic setup to insure an effective implementation of their functions. They act as a promise by the Chief Minister of Punjab to the citizens that they shall not be left unheard and their needs will be held in the highest regard.
Mr. Salman Sufi, Director General-Strategic Reforms Unit, Chief Minister’s Office said, “The Chief Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit has worked tirelessly in collaboration with the Local Government & Community Development Department and the Social Welfare & Bait-ul-Maal Department to introduce legislations to cater to crucial issues including lack of inclusive and sacred burial spaces, facilitation of grieving families, land encroachments, the protection of women and prevention of Violence Against Women. We have created history by getting two ground-breaking legislations passed in one day.” The Chief Minister’s Strategic Reform Unit’s Punjab Shehr-e-Khamoshan Authority Bill 2017 and the Punjab Women Protection Bill 2017 were laid in the Punjab Assembly session today, on the 24th of May 2017 and were subsequently passed after a thorough reading and deliberation by the Assembly members. The Punjab Shehr-e-Khamoshan Authority Bill 2017 was promulgated on the 11th of April 2017 by the Governor Punjab. The Bill was then approved by the Standing Committee on Local Government and Community Development on the 4th of May 2017.