Religious Parties of Pakistan Called Women’s Protection Law “Un-Islamic”

Arif Qureshi

Lahore: Jamat-e-Islami headed All Parties Conference of about 35 prominent Religious Groups unanimously condemned and called the Women’s Protection Bill as ‘un-Islamic’ and against the true spirit of Islam. Leaders of the religious parties labeled the Women’s Protection Bill passed by Punjab Provincial Assembly an attempt to promote foreign agenda in Pakistan in a meeting held on Tuesday at Jamat-e-Islami Head Quarter Mansoora, Lahore.

All parties Conference of religious Groups was attended by all four Schools of thoughts Ahal-Haidth, Deobandi, Barelbvi and Shia scholars which show the unity among them against the women’s protection bill.  All parties conference was Presided by Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan chief Senator Sirajul Haq, while Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Jamat ud Dawa(JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, JUI-Sami chief Maulana Samiul Haq, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan President Sahibzada Abul Khair Zubair, Markazi Jamiat Ahal-Haidth hea Professor Sajid Mir, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan Allama Awais Noorani, and Majlis-e-Wahdat al Muslimeen deputy secretary General Allama Ameen Shahedi spoke on the occasion.

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Religious parties suggested Government that new bill should be amended after consultation with the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and religious leaders. Announcing the dead line to the Punjab government to nullify the Bill till March 27, Religious parties warned the government of a nationwide protest movement if the controversial Women’s Protection  Act is not being amended. If the bill is not taken back by the government, strategy regarding protests shall be made during the Ulema Convention in Islamabad that will take place on April 2.

According to daily Express News the Protection of Women against Violence Act passed last month gives legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence. It recommends creating a toll-free abuse reporting hotline, shelters for women and district-level panels to investigate reports of abuse. It also allows using GPS bracelets to keep track of offenders.

Religious groups called upon the government to re-introduce the law, accommodating the recommendations of the Council of Islamic Ideology, which advises parliament on the compatibility of laws with Islam. It has already declared the act un-Islamic. The government has formed a consultation committee to mull over possible amendments. Earlier this month, head of Council of Islamic Ideology Maulana Muhmmad Khan Sherani also declared the Women’s Protection Act un-Islamic.

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At the end of the conference a joint statement issued women’s protection law and Mumtaz Qadri’s hanging were against the Sharia, the ideology of Pakistan and its Constitution. Condemning the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, the statement said all cases registered under blasphemy laws should be expedited and the convicts punished accordingly.

Pakistan was founded on the principles of Islam and the Objectives Resolution, it said, adding that all religious parties would thwart all efforts to make Pakistan a liberal or secular state. The resolution claimed the law would increase the divorce rate in society and result in damaging the traditional family structure. It also said that the law was introduced in an effort to Westernise the country.

The government was also warned against linking terrorism with Islamic seminaries and asked to remove all restrictions against mosques and religious schools under the National Action Plan. JI chief Sirajul Haq had earlier said the religious parties were against violence targeting women, but the law would destroy the family system of Pakistan.

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