ISLAMABAD: A week after the Punjab Assembly passed its landmark bill criminalising domestic violence and abuse, the country’s top religious body deemed it ‘un-Islamic’.
“The whole law is wrong,” Council for Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Maulana Muhammad Sheerani told a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday. He cited a number of verses from the Holy Quran to point out that the law were un-Islamic.
The Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act 2016, passed unanimously by Punjab last week, gave unprecedented legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence. Under the Constitution, the provincial government is bound to send the bill to CII for consideration. But since its passage in the Punjab Assembly, several conservative clerics and religious leaders have denounced the new law as being in conflict with Sharia, as well as the Constitution.
The CII’s rulings came a day after it voiced concerns on parts of a similar bill recently tabled in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
On Thursday, the Punjab bill was also challenged in the Federal Shariat Court. Dr Aslam Khaki, a professor of Islamic law and advocate of the Supreme Court, moved a petition under Article 203-B, C and D of the Constitution. He prayed that the whole act may be examined in the light of the Quran and Sunnah, while section 7(d) & (e), of the Act 2016 be declared un-Islamic.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2016.