MARDAN – Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday demanded of the government and lawmakers to take measures to control acid violence in the province and in this connection Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa lawmakers should pass a bill in the assembly.

Speaking at a seminar organized by Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) at a local hotel, Executive District Health (EDO-H) Ayuab Rooz Khan, ASF Executive Director Mohammad Khan, former general secretary Mardan Press Club (MPC) Mohammad Riaz Mayar and others said that 43 cases of acid attack were reported in Pakistan in 2009, 55 in 2010, 150 in 2011.

Such attacks also seem to happen in Dera Ismail Khan (KPK) and Sukkhar (Sindh). They said that the elected representatives of the country have a moral duty to deliver tangible results to their respective constituencies, and that they must take the necessary measures to put an end to this horrendous crime that has no place in Pakistan and in KPK.

They said that acid violence and more specifically the comprehensive Acid and Burn Crime Bill that ought to be urgently passed in the KP provincial assembly after the 18th amendment.  Since 2009, the Acid Survivors Foundation with the cooperation of other organizations of the civil society of Pakistan and various parliamentarians has been striving to ensure a comprehensive legislation in this regard.

They said that the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2011, Act XXV (amending HURT, section 336 in the Pakistani Penal Code), is a major step forward as far as social and gender justice in Pakistan is concerned. The amendment constitutes only a first step towards the goal of a comprehensive legislation, as this bill does not address many aspects of the acid and burn crime phenomenon.

They said that the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in Naila Farhat’s suo-moto case, includes not only severe punishment to the perpetrators but also a comprehensive rehabilitation of the victims on the state expense, as per the Bangladeshi model.

The speakers also demanded of the government to control the sale and easy availability of acid, through a mechanism with the cooperation of other ministries and departments.

“Acid violence is a global phenomenon, this form of gender based violence is increasing and must be addressed on an urgent basis”, the speakers said. They said that the elected representatives of the country have a moral duty to deliver solid results to their respective constituencies, and that they must take the necessary measures to put an end to an horrendous crime that has no place in Pakistan and in KPK.