500 women comprising ‘Women Parliament’, the first of its kind, took the oath of office under the banner of Minhaj Women League in a ceremony held at the central secretariat yesterday. The women office holders belonging to all the four provinces including Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and abroad took oath. Ms. Farah Naz and Ms. Afnan Babar were nominated as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Women Parliament respectively.
Dr Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, Chairman of MQI Supreme Council, administered the oath to the members of Women Parliament and congratulated them on getting together for an amazing cause. He also prayed for the success of the women assembly for the attainment of religious, moral and national objectives it set out to achieve. The national anthem was played before the oath-taking.
Briefing the first session, President of MWL and the Speaker of the Women Parliament Ms. Farah Naz said that this forum will play its effective role in promoting the cause of women empowerment and elimination of political, economic and social discrimination against women. She said that every member of the Women Parliament is Master degree holder, adding that the females with professional background have also been given representation. She further said that this Parliament will also work for elimination of gender-based discriminatory attitude and promotion of social and economic welfare of the women. She said that parliamentary secretaries will be appointed who will deal with different areas in which they specialize.
Ms. Farah Naz said that the women are grateful to Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri who provided them with an effective and honorable forum to take charge of their lives and become productive members of the society. She said that training of the women and provision of excellent educational opportunities for them has been a hallmark of the MQI. She particularly thanked Dr Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri and Dr Ghazala Hassan Qadri for sparing time to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the Women Parliament.
Dr Ghazala Hassan Qadri, Brig. (r) Muhammad Iqbal, Dr Shahida Mughal, Dr Maleeha Sadia, Dr Farrukh and Ms. Razia Shaheen also addressed the ceremony. A resolution adopted on the occasion paid a rich tribute to Ms Shazia Murtaza and Ms. Tanzila Amjad, the Shaheed of Model Town tragedy, for their services to the MQI and women empowerment. They demanded that justice in the Model Town case should be provided and those involved in shedding the blood of innocent people should be brought to justice for their crime of taking the lives of innocent people.
Throwing light on the structure of Women Parliament, Ms. Farah Naz said that it will be a high-powered advisory body. She said that the members of women executive council, women coordination council, presidents of districts, Tehsil and PPs, and those working on different administrative positions have been made members of the Parliament. She said that women belonging to foreign countries have also been given representation. She said that the Parliament will hold its one session once a year at the minimum. She further told that this forum will work under the direct supervision of Dr Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri.
Another resolution adopted on the occasion thanked the Chief Justice of Pakistan for taking notice of the Model Town tragedy. It condemned the incident of firing at the residence of Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and demanded that those involved in this heinous act should be apprehended and meted out exemplary punishment. The session also expressed its grave concern on the fast deteriorating situation in Syria and asked the major powers to refrain from the indiscriminate use of force. It asked the UN Secretary General not to remain confined to the expression of concern on the prevailing situation in Syria but play decisive role in stopping the situation from worsening further. ‘The UN should bring the parties to the negotiating table,’ it demanded.