Repeal of Hudood ordinances demanded
ISLAMABAD, July 30 2006: The Hudood Ordinance is not a debated law rather it was an attempt by Gen Ziaul Haq for prolonging his rule in the name of Islamisation and should be repealed forthwith. This was the crux of a national conference on “The Hudood Ordinance: time for repeal” organised by Joint Action Committee of civil society organisations here on July 30.
Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal said the ordinance should not be named as Hudood ordinance as it was not a law and was imposed forcibly by a military general for his own interests at a time when there was no parliament. Â“The ordinance should be called Zia ordinance as it is unconstitutional and un-Islamic,Â” he remarked. Mr Iqbal said Gen Zia had once acknowledged that the ordinance was not absolutely perfect to deliver justice to women but was the need of the hour. “Why it is still being implemented on an innocent woman who is not given the right to satisfy the court,” he asked.
He said the most common thing in Gen Musharraf and Gen Zia was that the former was not loyal to enlightened moderation and the latter was not sincere with islamisation. “The generals are perpetuating their regimes by various tactics which affect the common man directly. I think the time is ripe for repealing the Hudood ordinance and as long as the ordinance exists the more we are closing to extremism,” he added.
He said the ordinance was never presented as a bill before a competent legislature and was ratified without any debate by parliament. “Even the views of Quaid-i-Azam were not considered while framing this law,” he regretted. “The most oppressive effect of the ordinance is that the number of women in jails has increased manifold while men are innocent. This is a black law and the court even decides such cases blindly which affect women only,” Mr Iqbal explained. He said the Federal Shariat Court was established by Gen Zia as his alternative supportive platform in case the Supreme Court decided something against his wishes. Â“The Shariat Court should be abolished immediately as it would have no reason for existence after the repeal of Hudood ordinance,” he suggested.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) chairperson Asma Jahangir warned that human rights activists would mobilise the public against the ordinance if the government did not repeal the ‘black law’. She criticised Gen Musharraf for what she said encouraging extremist elements who opposed the repeal of the ordinance. “Women are exploited through the ordinance and Musharraf is a silent spectator despite his slogan of enlightened moderation,” she said.
PROTEST: After the conclusion of the conference, the participants took to the streets shouting slogans against the government for not abolishing the Hudood ordinance.
The human rights activists and law experts who were joined later by other people gathered in front of the camp office of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Press Club and demanded the government present the ordinance before parliament for debate and scrutiny.