Repeal of Hudood laws demanded
PESHAWAR – A civil society forum has demanded repeal of the Hudood laws, saying that their enforcement has done immense injustice to people.
The Joint Action Committee, which organized a one-day seminar entitled ‘Why the Hudood Ordinances must be repealed’, described the laws as man-made and not in conformity with the injunctions of Islam.
Dr Farooq Khan, a religious scholar, said that Pakistan had not yet achieved the status of a welfare state and conditions were not ripe for the enforcement of Islamic laws. “Our society is going through a critical phase and the Hudood laws have been used to target the weaker section of society,” said Dr Farooq Khan.
He said that these laws were full of lacunas as they put ‘forced Zina’ and ‘Zina with consent’ in the same category. Several such cases had come to light in the past where these laws were used for the exploitation of women, especially the rape victims.
Rakhshinda Naz, Resident Director of Aurat Foundation, said that the most controversial among these laws was the Zina Ordinance (Enforcement of Hadd). “The onus of producing the evidence lies with the woman reporting a rape case. These discriminatory laws have been used as a tool to vicitimize women,” said Rakhshinda Naz.
Justice (retd) Shaiq Usmani said that laws dealt with the life of a common man and they should be put into effect after an elected assembly’s assent. He said that 70 per cent of women languishing in jails were those convicted under the Hudood ordinances and a majority of them were poverty-stricken.
These laws were discriminatory as only women were victimized through these laws. Influential elements committing adultery and fornication went unpunished, he said. “These laws are defective and as social conditions are not suitable for the implementation of these laws, they should be repealed,” Justice Usmani said.
Awami National Party’s vice-president Haji Adeel said that the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal government should first work to establish a welfare state and then enforce Islamic laws.
Speakers demanded that the government repeal the Hudood laws. They said that the forum was not against Islamic Laws but opposed the Hudood Ordinances which were framed by a dictator.
The laws formulated without consultation with the people and enforced without consent of elected parliament should be repealed, they emphasized.