Senate passes Zainab Alert, Recovery and Response Bill, 2020

ISLAMABAD – Senate on Wednesday approved “The Zainab Alert, Recovery and Response Bill, 2020”.

As the proceedings of the Upper House of the Parliament started, two bills including “The Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Bill, 2020 and “The University of Islamabad Bill, 2020” were passed in the House.

The Zainab Alert Bill will make provisions for raising alert, response and recovery of missing and abducted children.

The Senate was also informed that price charged for cardiac stents at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad is exactly according to directions of the Supreme Court.

Responding to a question during the Question Hour in the House, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati said government employees receive reimbursement of medical expenditures after the treatment.

On January 10, the National Assembly unanimously passed the Zainab Alert, Recovery and Response Bill, 2019, aimed at raising alert, response and recovery of missing and abducted children.

During the NA session, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari presented the bill. Both the government and opposition unanimously passed the bill. The bill had been approved exactly two years after the rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab. The bill will now be sent to the Senate.

The bill had been made following the rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab in 2018. She was found five days after she went missing in a trash heap in Kasur on January 9. Her murderer was hanged in Kot Lakhpat jail the same year.

Under the bill, a helpline had to be established to report missing children while an agency for issuing an alert for missing children, will also be set up. The bill had proposed the death sentence, life imprisonment or rigorous imprisonment for a term for people who abduct children.

The bill also proposes taking action against police officials who cause unnecessary delay in investigating such cases.


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