LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has condemned the retrogressive move by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) to roll back the Muslim family laws and called upon the government to stand fast in defence of women’s rights, says a handout.
In a statement issued here on Wednesday, the commission said: “At a time when the state is trying to deal with a grave threat from extremists posing as religious soldiers and the humanitarian challenges in Thar, CII’s controversial head Maulana Shirani has chosen to fire a broadside at the disadvantaged women of the country.
The edict aimed at giving parents/guardians a licence to give away little girls in marriage and freeing men of the need to secure the permission of their first wives before admitting second wives to their harems is nothing short of a vicious attack on women’s and girls’ fundamental rights.
“The assumptions underlying the suggestions made by Maulana Shirani and his associates are open to challenge not only on the ground of conflict with the Constitution of Pakistan and universal human rights but also for being violative of the spirit of the religion these honourable men claim to follow.
The people have a right to know as to what has made the CII, which had claimed to have completed its scrutiny of all laws quite some time ago, discover flaws in the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961 at this particular moment.
“Quite obviously Maulana Shirani wishes to open a new front against women and to reinforce the militants’ siege of the state. In doing so he has furnished a good reason for a full-scale review of the CII’s functions, it powers, and the justification for its existence.
“The government must not yield to the CII manoeuvre otherwise it will fail in its duty to protect the rights of women, and also undermine its own defences against extremists’ assault on the state’s democratic foundations.”