RAWALPINDI: The second division during the current session of the National Assembly was called yesterday when women Members opposed leave for the introduction of a Bill seeking annulment of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance.
Sixty Members, including some Central Ministers, voted for the introduction of the Bill while 36, including Mr Z.A. Bhutto, opposed its admission.
External Affairs Minister Mohammad Ali was virtually forced by some of his Cabinet colleagues to vote in favour of the Bill. After the division when Mr Mohammad Ali wanted to explain his vote, he was not allowed to do so.
The Bill stood in the name of Mr Abbas Ali Khan.
The Family Laws Ordinance regulates marriage among Muslims and lays down that a Muslim will not take a second wife unless he has either divorced his first wife or has taken permission from the first wife for the second marriage. All six women Members opposed the repeal of this Ordinance.
However, when by a voice vote, the majority of the House favoured the introduction of the Bill, Begum Zari Sarfaraz expressed her dissatisfaction and forced the division. The Ministers voted according to personal preferences.
While Mr Fazlul Quadir argued with the External Affairs Minister, Mr Bhutto with a broad smile on his face left his Ministerial seat and walked up to the other side of the House. Communications Minister Abdus Sabur also voted with Mr Bhutto.— Staff Correspondent & Agencies