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Pakistan: Federally Administered Tribal Areas to Be Merged with the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

(Mar. 16, 2017) On March 2, 2017, the Federal Cabinet of Pakistan approved recommendations of a reforms committee to “bring the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in the mainstream” by merging the tribal region with the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  (Federal Cabinet Approves Recommendations to ‘Mainstream’ Fata, DAWN.COM (Mar. 2, 2017).)  FATA is a constitutionally […]

Pakistan: Sindh Provincial Assembly Passes New Law Prohibiting Forced Religious Conversion

(Dec. 22, 2016) On November 24, 2016, the provincial assembly of Pakistan’s Sindh Province passed a new law called the Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Act, 2015, which prohibits forced religious conversions.  (Hufsa Chaudhry & Imtiaz Mugheri, Sindh Assembly Adopts Bill Against Forced Religious Conversions, DAWN (Nov. 24, 2016).) The private bill was proposed in December […]

Pakistan: Sindh Provincial Assembly Passes Law to Establish Commission for Protection of Minority Rights

(Dec. 19, 2016) In what Assembly-member Nand Kumar Goklani called “a victory for the entire province,” Pakistan’s Sindh Province Assembly has unanimously adopted a private bill to establish a commission to protect the rights of religious minorities.  (Sindhi Assembly Stamps Commission for Minorities, NATION (Nov. 18, 2016).)  The Sindh Minorities Rights Commission Bill, 2015, was […]

Pakistan: National Assembly Passes Hindu Marriage Bill

(Nov. 15, 2016) On September 26, 2016, the Hindu Marriage Bill was unanimously passed in Pakistan’s National Assembly, after three previous failed attempts to pass the bill in 2008, 2011, and 2012. (Kalbe Ali, NA Finally Passes Hindu Marriage Bill, DAWN (Sept. 27, 2016); Hamza Ameer, Why Is Pakistan Afraid of Passing the Hindu Marriage […]

Pakistan: National Assembly Passes New Cybercrime Law

(Sept. 21, 2016) On August 11, 2016, Pakistan’s lower house, the National Assembly, passed a controversial cybercrime law called the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016. The Senate had unanimously passed the law, with a number of amendments, in July. (Raza Khan, Cyber Crime Bill Passed by NA: 13 Reasons Pakistanis Should Be Worried, DAWN […]

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 […]