The National Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill against corporal punishment of children in the federal capital, setting out penalties for physically punishing children. The ICT Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill, a private member bill, was presented by PML-N MPA Mehnaz Akbar Aziz. An amendment in the bill presented by the government was also passed by the Lower House. The bill effectively bans all forms of corporal punishment at the workplace, in all types of educational institutions including formal, informal, and religious, in child care institutions including foster care, rehabilitation centres and any other alternative care settings. The proposed law will penalise teachers for assault and hurt inflicted upon children, regardless of intention, cancelling out the provisions of Section 89 of the Pakistan Penal Code which had allowed teachers and guardians to administer physical punishment ‘in good faith’ and ‘for the benefit’ of the child. According to Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, with the amendment proposed by the government, it will now be possible for complainants to be filed in court. “The previous version of bill stated that complaints must be made to the government committee formed for the purpose,” she said, adding that now the court can directly be approached. In total, the National Assembly on Tuesday approved 17 bills for legislation. Some of the approved legislative bills were also referred to relevant committees for further deliberation. As the session commenced, Speaker Asad Qaiser allowed MNA Mohsin Dawar to present his bill regarding amendments to articles 1, 51 and 106 of the constitution. Instead of explaining his bill, Dawar opted for highlighting a recent incident in which four women vocational trainers were shot dead by some unknown gunmen near Mirali in North Waziristan. The speaker, however, asked Dawar to come to his agenda related to bill for constitutional amendment. “I would order KP chief secretary to conduct an impartial inquiry and present report of the incident to us,” he said, asking Dawar to explain the suggested amendment in the constitution. Dawar, however, paid no heed to the speaker and alleged that no one in the media and other human rights defenders had condemned the terrible incident. Asad Qaiser finally turned off Dawar’s mic and moved on to the next agenda item while leaving the matter of proposed constitutional amendment undecided. When Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Shoukat Ali was asked about any objection to the The Safe Milk and Dairy Bill, 2021, moved by Nafeesa Inayat Ullah Khan Khattak, he responded in negative. During Shoukat Ali’s speech, some of treasury members from the back benches started sloganeering against arrest and alleged victimization of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders by Sindh government in Karachi. While holding placards, the treasuring members gathered in front of the speaker’s dais. To counter the move, some opposition members also hurriedly moved forward with placards and banners. It seemed that the opposition was prepared to confront any such development. The speaker tried to prohibit both parties from interrupting the proceedings. However, both treasury and opposition did not pay attention to his words which prompted the speaker to adjourn proceeding for 10 minutes. The calm returned to the House when the session resumed after a short break. However, instead of speaker, Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri was in the chair’s seat. While deliberating ‘The Compulsory Teaching of Arabic Language Bill, 2021’ jointly moved by Moulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali and Syed Javed Husnain, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said the Arabic language and teaching of Holy Quran are two different things, adding that teaching of Holy Quran has already been incorporated in the educational curriculum. The minister also suggested that it would be better if the House refers the bill to the relevant standing committee. The move was allowed.