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Rape victim not bound to bring witnesses: CII

ISLAMABAD, March 31: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Saturday said it had decided to recommend to the parliament that ‘zina bil raza’ (consensual sex) and ‘zina bil jabr’ (rape) should be treated as two ‘distinct and separate crimes’.

“If a female complains of zina bil jabr, she will not be asked to bring four witnesses as in such a case she is a complainant and the state is bound to investigate the crime perpetrated against her,” the CII said in a statement after a meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Prof Khalid Masood. Those who attended the deliberations included Javed Ahmad Ghamdi, Justice Rashid Jallundri, Munir Ahmad Mughal and Dr Manzoor Ahmad.

The CII said that in a case of consensual sex, the accused should be acquitted if four witnesses were not produced.

A zina accused cannot be awarded any punishment under any other law, the council asserted.

The CII observed that the Holy Quran counsels `recourse to education, training and advice’ in such cases.

Punishment should be awarded only if four witnesses testify to the crime in a court of law, the statement said.

The council also called upon the parliament to enact laws for discouraging the `growing trend of evicting parents from their homes’.

The CII recommended that ‘Haraba’ and ‘Fasad fil arz’ (mischief on earth) should not be kept limited to dacoity.

“If a murder is committed in the form of terrorism and zina bil jabr, such an offence should also be declared as Haraba and the perpetrators, according to their conditions, should be awarded all the punishments prescribed in Sura Maida of the Holy Quran for the crimes of Haraba and fasad fil arz,” the council said.

The Council of Islamic Ideology decided to hold an international conference on `Current economic issues and Islam’ in collaboration with the International Islamic University, Islamabad.–APP

Online adds: An official committee of experts was asked to carry out an overall evaluation of agricultural reforms and ascertain the reasons for their failure to implement.

Source: Dawn

Date:4/1/2007

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