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May 27, 2016

Civil society, women, legal experts,scholars reject CII proposals

Top Story

May 27, 2016

LAHORE: While civil society members and woman representatives rejected the recommendations of the Council of Islamic Ideology on a new women protection bill, legal experts say only parliament has the right to legislate and there was no legal status of the proposals presented by the CII.

Supreme Court Bar Association President Barrister Ali Zafar said on Thursday that CII’s proposals about ‘slight’ beating of women, a ban on co-education, restraining women from taking part in military combat and interacting with males, preventing female nurses from taking care of male patients and banning women from working in ads, are only the opinion of the CII members. He said these proposals are not binding on parliament, which is authorised to make any laws.

Justice (retd) Ramazan Chaudhry said the CII could only give proposals, and these proposals would get the status of a law only when parliament would pass them as a piece of legislation.

Human rights activist and former SCBA president Asma Jehangir said the members of the CII should be removed from their post. She said it was insulting for her to comment on the CII recommendations. She said the Pakistani women were not there to be beaten by men and even all maulvis of the world together could not implement such proposals as women knew well how to protect themselves.

Pakistan Awami Tehreek Chairman Allama Tahirul Qadri said on Thursday there was no provision in Islam about men ‘slightly’ beating their wives.

In a statement, he said the Holy Prophet (PBUH) never raised his hand on a woman. He said he could hold a debate with those who claimed that beating of women was allowed in Islam.

Religious scholar Javed Ghamdi said that CII was formed to give its recommendations on making laws at the national level. The issues of women’s day-to-day affairs do not fall under the state affairs and, therefore, the CII crossed its limits while giving recommendations on the topic. He said even if the government or parliament would make any law in this regard would exceed its limits. He said the government should not interfere in religious affairs of the people.

“How you can impose a ban on co-education. Torture on women, even a minor, is not acceptable,” Farzana Bari, a woman activist, said.

Another activist Tahira Abdullah challenged the jurisdiction of the CII to draft such laws. According to her, the CII had no constitutional powers to recommend laws for protection of rights of women.

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