Jamiat Ulamae Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) senator Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani on Tuesday rejected the chairmanship of the Council of Islamic Ideology.
According to Express 24/7 reporter Muhammad Kazim, the JUI-F has rejected the chairmanship because the notification issued by the government states that Sherani has been appointed chairman ‘till further orders.’ The party said that under Article 228 of the constitution, the chairman of the CII is appointed for a period of three years, and the notification does not state this.
Senior leader of JUI-F, Maualana Wasay said his party had taken up the matter with the president and the prime minister but no action had been taken. He said the party would accept the chairmanship if the appointment is made as per the constitution.
Sherani had been appointed chairman after a long interval following the retirement of Dr Khalid Masood in May this year.
In a recent report published in The Express Tribune, the appointment drew criticism from various quarters, with some activists saying that the appointment of a politician as the head of the institution will push Pakistan back to the Islamisation era it experienced under then president Ziaul Haq.
Set up in 1962, the body had just an advisory role – it was to tell the legislature, when asked, about whether or not a law was repugnant to Islam. While it could also make recommendations to the Parliament about how to help Muslims live their lives in accordance with Islamic principles or even suggest Islamic injunctions, which could be translated into laws, significantly, the council did not have any teeth. The Parliament had the absolute authority to completely ignore the advice, if it so willed.