LAHORE: The Women’s Action Forum (WAF) has thanked the political parties and individuals who advocated the amendment of Hudood laws and praised those who had categorically stated their commitment to repealing the Hudood Ordinance altogether. In a statement issued on Saturday, the WAF said it hoped that the Women’s Protection Bill passed by the National Assembly on November 15 would help women by eliminating the possibility of rape victims being prosecuted for zina and the abolition of whipping and stoning to death. “This will only be confirmed when the text of the bill is made public,” the statement said, adding that the WAF viewed the political compromise made in approving the bill as “unwarranted and dangerous”.
“WAF is convinced that the new clauses relating to fornication will be used to victimise people in the same way that the clauses on zina were used under the Hudood Ordinances,” the statement said. “The introduction of the Hudood Ordinances in 1979 resulted in tens of thousands of cases being registered against innocent women each year,” it said. “It enabled family members and others to use the Zina Enforcement Ordinance to imprison and persecute women (and men) who married of their own choice, and orally divorced women. It is unclear whether the bill has removed the previous contradictions between Muslim Family Law Ordinance (1961) and the Hudood Ordinance.”
“WAF is committed to its long-standing position that the Hudood Ordinance violates all norms of decency, justice and human rights,” it said. “It is the poorest of the poor who are subjected to the worst of the punishments. Hundreds of women are imprisoned and many more are on trial for allegedly committing offences under other aspects of Hudood laws.” “On behalf of Pakistani women, WAF reiterates its demand to repeal the Hudood Ordinances in their entirety and urges members of all political parties committed to the repeal of the ordinance to continue their efforts.”
Source: Daily Times