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Zainab Alert bill passed by the National Assembly after uproar over killings

Zainab Alert

The Zainab Alert Recovery and Response Act, 2019, was unanimously approved in the National Assembly just two years after Zainab Ansari was found dead.

The bill was introduced by Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari in the National Assembly in June last year.

It may be recalled that Zainab, a Kasur resident, went missing on January 4, 2018, and her body was found on January 9 in a garbage cane, after which there were intense protests and outrage across the country.

According to the bill passed today, children will be sentenced to life imprisonment, a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 14 years, while a fine of Rs 10 lakh will also be imposed.

Related: Zainab murder case: Imran Ali executed in Lahore

In addition, a helpline will be set up for the report of missing children and a Zainab Alert Recovery and Response Agency will be set up to report abduction, murder, abuse, and disappearance of children under the age of 18.

The bill states that “an officer who does not respond to crimes against a child in two hours will also be punished”.

However, according to the bill, this law will only apply to the federal capital, Islamabad.

During the meeting, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Asad Umar said that all criminal cases against children will be resolved within 3 months.

He said he hoped the Senate would pass the law soon.

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