Review Of Women Protection Act: Religious Parties Shun Protest Plan, Join Govt Committee
Two days after showing their resolve to launch an anti-government movement on the Women Protection Act issue, religious parties agreed on Monday to shun their protest plan and join an official committee to review the recently passed law.
The consent came after a meeting of leaders of religio-political parties with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif here. Sr Member SMU Salman Sufi and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan also briefed the participants about various misconceptions about the Act.
The delegation, led by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, consisted of Jamiat Ahle Hadith President Sajid Mir, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Asadullah Bhutto, MPA Mehfooz Mashhadi and Maulana Amjad Khan.
Minister of State for Religious Affairs Pir Aminul Hasnaat, Maulana Fazal Rahim of Jamia Ashrafia, Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Sialvi, Maulana Raghib Hussain Naeemi and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sana were also present.
Leaders of the parties critical of the role of JUI-F and JI in the past, particularly during the last two dictatorships, were conspicuous by their absence.
Jamiat Ulema Pakistan (JUP) president Pir Ijaz Hashmi, who had criticized both the JUI-F and JI in a conference this Saturday for “selling out the Nizam-i-Mustafa movement for a few assembly seats”, told Dawn that he or any other leader of his party was not taken on board for meeting with Shahbaz Sharif.
It had been decided in a meeting with the chief minister to form a joint committee for developing consensus on the Women Protection Bill.
The joint committee comprising clerics and government representatives would propose necessary reforms after a detailed review of the bill.
Mr Sharif assured the visitors that the government could not even think of any legislation in contravention of Quran and Sunnah.
He said that violence against women is a social reality and this fact cannot be denied.
He said the violence against women is a cognizable offense under every religion and moral system.
He assured them that their proposals would be given due importance for reforming the law, which has not yet been notified despite its passage from the Punjab Assembly about a month ago.
“Difference of opinion can be addressed through negotiations and consultation and the government is ready to make necessary corrections where necessary”.
Maulana Fazl appreciated that a meeting had been held for talks on this important issue and the government had given importance to reservations of clerics.
This news was previously published in DAWN and it is being republished here with permission.