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Pakistan: Regulatory Authority Bans Two Ramadan Programs

(June 29, 2016) On June 17, 2016, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), an independent television and radio regulator, banned the transmission of two Ramadan TV specials, as one news report notes, for violating PEMRA’s Electronic Media Code of Conduct rules by “promoting controversial and sectarian views.” (Following Threats, PEMRA Puts a Lid on […]

Pakistan: Bills Introduced on Increased Representation of Women in the Supreme Court

(May 26, 2016) On May 16, 2016, a member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and former law minister, Babar Awan, introduced a private member’s bill in the Senate, the upper house of Pakistan’s federal legislature, that would amend the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1997, to provide greater “representation of women” in Pakistan’s […]

Pakistan: Senate Passes Bill to Criminalize Child Sexual Abuse and Child Pornography

(Mar. 22, 2016) On March 11, 2016, the Senate, the upper house of Pakistan’s federal legislature, passed a bill that includes a number of amendments to Pakistan’s Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure. The legislation adds provisions criminalizing child sexual abuse, child pornography, and domestic human trafficking.  (Senate Passes Law Against Child Sexual Abuse, […]

Pakistan: Hindu Marriage Bill Passed in Sindh Legislature

(Feb. 25, 2016) On February 15, 2016, the Provincial Assembly of Sindh passed the Hindu Marriage Bill 2016, applicable to Hindus and other non-Muslim citizens. It is reportedly the first of its kind in Pakistan. (Hafeez Tunio, Sindh Assembly Becomes First in Pakistan to Pass Hindu Marriage Bill, EXPRESS TRIBUNE (Feb. 15, 2016).) Similar draft […]

Pakistan: Child Marriage Bill Withdrawn

(Jan. 25, 2016) On January 14, 2016, Pakistan’s National Assembly Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony met to discuss the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill 2014.  According to a press release, the bill, which was moved by National Assembly Member Marvi Memon, was withdrawn at the end of the discussion. (Press Release, National […]

Pakistan: Prison Rule Requires Condemned to Be Able to Stand on the Scaffold

(Oct. 9, 2015) The Magistrate in Faisalabad, Pakistan, stopped the execution of Abdul Basit over uncertainty on how to hang a person who is incapable of standing up, as required by the Pakistan Prisons Rules of 1978. (Jon Boone, Paraplegic Death Row Prisoner Gets Last-Minute Stay of Execution in Pakistan, GUARDIAN (Sept. 22, 2015).) Abdul […]

Pakistan: Federal Government Plans to Introduce Legislation Prohibiting Apostasy Pronouncements

(Sept. 21, 2015)  According to a September 10, 2015, news report, the Federal Government of Pakistan is considering legislation to prohibit takfir, a religious pronouncement or clerical ruling that declares one Muslim or group of Muslims to be non-believers or apostates.  A government official was reported to have stated, “[u]nder new laws, no one will […]

Pakistan: Constitutional Amendment to Extend Jurisdiction of Superior Courts to Tribal Areas

(Mar. 3, 2015) On February 20, 2015, Pakistan’s Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice approved a constitutional amendment that would extend the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and a High Court to Pakistan’s specially administered tribal regions. (Constitutional Amendment: Senate Body Clears Bill on Tribal People’s Rights, EXPRESS TRIBUNE (Feb. 20, 2015).) The amendment, […]

Pakistan: Punjab Government Considers Anti-Child Marriage Law

(Jan. 30, 2015) On January 29, 2015, the Chairperson of the Punjab Provincial Commission on the Status of Women, while speaking at a conference on child marriages in Pakistan, stated that the Punjab Cabinet was considering several amendments to provincial-level marriage laws. According to a news report, the proposed changes include: raising the minimum age […]

Pakistan: Punjab Province Criminalizes the Glorification of Terrorism

(Jan. 23, 2015) On January 20, 2015, Pakistan’s Punjab provincial government promulgated an amendment to a maintenance of public order ordinance that criminalizes expressions of support, sympathy, and glorification of terrorism. (Punjab Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance, No. 31 of 1960, amended by Punjab Maintenance of Public Order (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 (Amended Ordinance), PUNJAB LAWS.) […]