Religious parties of all schools of thought agreed on Tuesday to continue to resist controversial bills tabled by the government and their representatives agreed that they (religious parties) would reject all bills against Islamic injunctions.
The concurrence emerged during a meeting of all religious parties, headed by Chief of the Millat-i-Jafria Pakistan and Islami Tahreek Pakistan, Allama Syed Sajid Ali Naqvi.
While reviewing the situation arising after the disclosures of Panama Papers, leaders of these parties pointed out that no religious party operated any offshore company, which demonstrated their honesty.
They urged the government to initiate a probe into the matter by creating an impartial commission.
“We have set aside differences in jurisprudence and of madhhab [schools of thought], and have agreed to force the government to withdraw controversial bills, which it is trying to table in the National and provincial assemblies,” said Naqvi
The meeting’s basic objective was to discuss the current domestic political situation, especially in the wake of Panama Papers, besides discussing recent bills which stirred up controversies such as Anti-Honour Killing amendment bill, Anti-Rape amendement bill and Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act (PPWCA) which was tabled by the Punjab Assembly last month, Naqvi told reporters.
The Anti-Honour Killings Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill and the Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill were presented in the joint parliamentary session last month. However, the JUI-F, had raised objections over the bill, and demanded of the government to remove anti-Islamic clauses.
The meeting was chaired by Allama Syed Sajid Ali Naqvi, attended, among others, by Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith president Senator Sajid Mir and Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan’s president Sahibzada Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair. During the meeting leaders of the religious parties agreed that they would continue to thwart the aims of elements who were trying to turn the country secular. “We will play the role of a bulwark against any anti-Islamic move.”
The issue of Sindh government’s decision to bind clerics to read pre-announced Friday sermons was also discussed during the meeting.
They said that they rejected the decision unanimously and asked the provincial government to reverse the decision.
A day ago, religious parties had rejected the terms of reference (TORs) of the panel formed to amend the controversial Women Protection Act of Punjab.
The provincial assembly had tabled the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act of 2015 on February 24 this year. The law contains remedies for victims of violence, criminalises all forms of violence against women and also recommends setting up of special centres for victim.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2016.