NA panel defers discussion on Hudood laws
ISLAMABAD, July 13 2006: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior on Thursday deferred several amendments to the Hudood Ordinance proposed in a private member bill, it is learnt. The committee headed by Sardar Talib Nakai observed that since the Hudood Ordinance was one of the ‘sensitive matters’ the committee could not take any decision on the issue without consensus. Earlier, Abdul Mujeeb Pirzada of the PeopleÂ’s Party Parliamentarians presented the bill along with 11 other members and termed the Hudood laws inhuman and un-Islamic.
He said the ordinance was promulgated by the then president Gen Ziaul Haq before the execution of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to please religious parties. The movers said the ordinance was a sheer example of gender discrimination despite the fact that men and women were treated equal in the Constitution. Mr Pirzada said that punishments like stoning to death were not applicable in the present age. Committee members Fauzia Habib of PPP, Kashmala Tariq of PML-Q, Kanwar Khalid Younis of MQM and Qurban Ali Shah of PPP-P endorsed Mr Pirzada’s point.
On the other hand, Dr Farid Ahmed Paracha of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) said it was the duty of the government to stop introduction of any law against Islamic norms. He said Hudood laws had been made by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) under Article 228 with the consent of ulema of all sects. Mr Paracha claimed that the Hudood laws had been made in the light of Quran and Sunnah and they were enforced in the country for the past 27 years. “In that period PPP came to power twice but it could not repeal these laws,” he said.
Minister of State for Law and Human Rights Shahid Akram Bhundar informed the committee that the government was making amendments to Hudood laws in consultation with the Federal Shariat Court and the CII. He said amendments to be proposed by the government would be tabled both in the National Assembly and the committee for a debate. He suggested that the committee should defer private member bills on the issue till the presentation of proposed amendments by the government. Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah supported the suggestion. The chairman then deferred all proposed amendments till these were also proposed by the government.