ISLAMABAD: The Women Action Forum (WAF) on Friday strongly demanded of the government to take serious initiatives in abolishing the Council of Islamic Ideology, Federal Shariat and Apellate Shariat Court, according to a press release.
The forum urged the parliament to immediately initiate legislative measures to repeal all discriminatory laws against women and religious minorities (such as Blasphemy Laws, Hudood Ordinances, Qisas & Diyat and all clauses under Sections 298 of PPC that single out and persecute a religious minority).
The members of WAF include Nasreen Azhar, Dr Zarina Salamat, Arifa Mazhar, Aqsa Khan, Memoona Rauf Khan, Nageen Hyat, Nigat Hasibullah,Dr Sarah Tirmazi, Reema Aftan,Khalida Babri, Najda Khan, among others
They said these structures were created unconstitutionally and undemocratically to strengthen the military and political dictatorship of
“We, the members of the Women’s Action Forum, strongly condemn the Federal Shariat Court’s verdict on 22.12.2010 that declared four clauses (11, 25, 28 and 29) of the Women Protection Act 2006 as unconstitutional. While the clauses may appear to make no substantive difference to the law, the implications will be far reaching, as by striking down sections 11 and 28 the verdict insidiously reintroduces the overriding effect of Zina and Qazaf Ordinances which the WPA had removed. It also confuses the issue of separation of rape from zina that the WPA had established,” they stated.
They expressed their grave concern over the governments and political parties’ failure to take concrete initiatives in abolishing and repealing parallel judicial systems and institutions that are only “political tools for extremist forces to expand their power despite consistent requested made by women’s movements and human rights organisations.”
The members of WAF were of the view that the FSC’s verdict is both political and anti- women in undermining the twenty seven years struggle of the women’s movement to repeal the Hudood ordinances. To gain religious-political power the extremist forces/elements are targeting women to pursue their nefarious designs of encroaching on state institutions.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2011.
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