Hudood Allah can’t be changed, but Hudood Ord can: Musharraf
ISLAMABAD: President General Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday rejected criticism of the Women’s Protection Bill as “un-Islamic” and rejected the notion of the Hudood Ordinances as divine law.“The Hudood Allah cannot be changed as they are divine, but the Hudood Ordinance is man-made and it can be changed,” Gen Musharraf said in an address to the Women’s Convention 2006, held here to celebrate the passage of the bill.
The president said the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) had declared the bill to be in consonance with Islamic laws, and this should be enough to satisfy critics of the bill as “un-Islamic”.He said those who opposed the bill but did not vote against it — an apparent reference to the PML-Nawaz – were hypocrites. There were those genuinely opposed to the bill, but they were the descendants of men who had opposed the use of the printing press to print the Quran and who declared Qauid-e-Azam ‘Kafir-e-Azam’.
The president urged voters, especially women, to reject the “hypocrites” and extremists at the polls and elect the “moderates” who had supported the bill. “Remember, you have to vote for moderates. Reject those who do not want to see you progressing.” He also announced a five-point strategy for women’s emancipation. First, women must be empowered politically by giving them representation in elected bodies. Second, they must be empowered economically through equal job opportunities. They must be given equal education opportunities to bring them into the mainstream of national development. They must be empowered legally by enacting new laws. And finally, all unjust social practices and violence against women must be eliminated. He said the government had already given women 33 percent representation in elected bodies. “However, more steps are needed,” he added.
Though job quotas for women had been increased and they had started entering new fields such as the armed forces, “their capacity-building is very important to get maximum benefit from their talent”.He said the government would try to push through a bill submitted by PML President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain in parliament. The bill would address six major issues: inheritance rights, selling of women, forced marriages, marriages with the Quran, ‘vani’ and laws related to divorce. He said he backed NGOs trying to eliminate violence against women, but urged them not to raise the issue at international forums, as this hurt Pakistan’s image. The president also announced a Rs 2,000 monthly allowance for women councillors.
Source: Daily Times