HRCP opposes ‘conservative cleric’ as CII head
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Monday expressed concern over the reported decision to appoint a conservative cleric to head the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII).
A statement issued here by the HRCP said: “The reported decision to relieve the widely acclaimed scholar for rational interpretation of Islamic injunctions as the CII chairman and replace him with an office-bearer of a religious political party will cause widespread concern among democratic sections of the people.
The decision, if true, deserves to be censured as it is too heavy a price to pay for the passage of the federal budget, or even the survival of the federal government.
In the long run, neither economic planning, nor the status of the present government will escape the consequences.
Even though the status of the CII is now that of an advisory body after it has been superseded by the Federal Shariat Court, the Council’s decisions still carry a certain influence with devout Muslims, especially laypersons among them. That is all the more reason to demonstrate prudence while nominating the chairman and members of the body.
In addition to being religious scholars, the members, and indeed the chairman, of the CII should also be abreast of contemporary challenges.
The HRCP is seriously concerned that such nominations would strengthen forces of obscurantism and strongly suggests that CII positions should not be given away as a reward for political services of dubious value.”
ELECTED: Noted academician Dr Mehdi Hasan has been elected chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) following Ms Asma Jahangir’s resignation.The full statement reads as follows: Consequent upon Asma Jahangir’s decision to step down as chairperson of the HRCP, the governing body of the commission has by an overwhelming majority elected Dr Mehdi Hasan, the senior most vice-chairperson, as head of the organisation for the remaining period of the present term.
He will serve in this position till a new chairperson is elected in the spring 2011. The HRCP council members also elected Saleema Hashmi vice-chairperson of the HRCP’s Punjab chapter.
Although the HRCP constitution does not prohibit an office-bearer from contesting the election of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Asma Jahangir opted to resign in order to avoid the slightest possibility of conflict of interest thus upholding an HRCP tradition.