Step in the Right Direction.
President General Musharraf signed into law Protection of Women Act 2006. (PDF) (Other bills)
Dawn editorial, writes that, the Zina Ordinance would lose much of its bite.
First, Rape has been taken out of the Hudood law and put under the PPC as it was before General Zia decided to equate it with adultery making a raped woman liable of being punished for fornication if she failed to produce four eye witnesses.
The second major amendment is to change the procedure for registering a zina case. The offence is no longer cognizable and only a court can decide whether the case has any merit and even if it does, the offence is bailable.
There is a provision for making "lewdness" (later changed to fornication, defined as consenting sex between unmarried couples) punishable under the PPC.
More than the bill itself, it is the direction the government has taken in the "long journey to protect women's rights", to quote the prime minister, is encouraging.
The amendments also include dropping the death penalty and flogging for persons convicted of having consensual non-marital sex. (HR Watch: Report 2006 on Pakistan)