By: Azeem Samar
Karachi: After unanimously adopting the resolution against the “anti-women” recommendations of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), the Sindh Assembly has suggested the federal government to do away with the council and has made the move in that direction keeping in view all the constitutional aspects of the issue.
This was stated by Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza on Thursday. She defended the move of the provincial legislature, where the lawmakers from all the political parties had unanimously adopted the resolution.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman has taken exception to the March 31 resolution of the Sindh Assembly, which reacted against the recommendations of the CII on the issues of minimum marriageable age for girls, mandatory DNA testing for investigation into rape cases and taking the wife’s consent for contracting a second marriage.
Rehman was quoted as saying that the provincial legislature should be dissolved over adopting the resolution against the recommendations of the CII, which had strived for the imposition of Islamic and Shariah laws in the country.
Shehla Raza said the resolution, which had been moved in the assembly by a woman lawmaker of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, had secured the overwhelming support of all the political parties having representation in the house; therefore, the Pakistan People’s Party alone should not bear the brunt for the passage of the resolution.
She said the lawmakers had unanimously decided to recommend the federal government to do away with the CII, as the women of the country had great expectations from the constitutional advisory forum.
The deputy speaker said the resolution was not passed on a whim, as for the past several decades the women of the country had been constantly denied their due constitutional rights by several state institutions.
In such a situation, those striving for women’s rights had great expectations from the CII, but after the council’s recent recommendations, the forum has also denied the marital and other socio-economic rights of the women, she added.
Shehla said long-pending issues like lawfully disallowing marriages of underage girls needed to be resolved, but the scholars associated with the CII had failed the women by putting forward their “anti-women” recommendations.
She said that it was high time that the CII be completely reshuffled, as the members of the council should comprise scholars with thorough knowledge of the religion and they should also apply scientific and pragmatic ways of thinking, which would help in resolving the long-standing problems of the women.
The deputy speaker said that it seemed that the CII currently consisted of people who had been politically inducted into the body, adding that they could apparently not handle women’s issues with the desired method of thinking.