Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hudood Laws

The Constitution of 1973
Hudood Laws
Pakistan's Legislative History
An entire body of law has been enacted - largely during the regime of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq - that seeks to establish what is perceived by the supporters of these laws as an "Islamic" system of justice in the country. These laws have come under increasing scrutiny and debate both within Pakistan and internationally especially with regard to their impact on civil liberties, human rights and equal treatment of citizens.
Ed. - These laws are presented here without prejudice to their content. This collection remains under construction and is not complete.
The Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Order, 1979 - P.O. No. 4 of 1979
The Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979 - Ordinance VII of 1979 - widely known as the Hudood Ordinance
Related: "Islamic" Laws
Enforcement of Shariah Act, 1991
Hudood laws open to change: senator
By Our Reporter
ISLAMABAD, July 12: Senator Khurshid Ahmad has said that Hudood and Hudood law are two diverse things and it must be clear to every one that Hudood are absolute and unchangeable while Hudood Ordinance is open to changes and improvement. He stated this while presiding over the concluding session of a two-day national conference on ‘Criminal Law of Islam; Basic Concept and Practical Application’, organized by the Shari’ah Academy of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) here on Tuesday.Talking about the objections and reservations of some circles on Hudood Ordinance, Prof Khurshid said that the real issue was not the status of women and the procedure of delivering justice according to the ordinance, but whether Islam be the law of this land or not.He said that every social system was based on some values. The criminal law of Islam is to protect some of the absolute values of the social order — religion, intellect, life, generation and property.The holy Quran has made laws Hudood for the protection of these values and the rest of legislation is left for the lawmaker of every nation of any time.He said that there were many reasons that lead to criticism and opposition from various circles. The main reason of such criticism is to oppose Islam as a code of life.Speaking on the occasion, IIUI Rector Justice (retired) Khalilur Rehman Khan said “the critics of Hudood Ordinance must come with clear minds that either they are opposing Islamic law as Muslims or non-Muslims”.He said that there were answers to each question about Islamic law. “If difficulties in implementation of a law is an excuse to abandon that law, what about the constitution and other laws of Pakistan”, he questioned.Justice Khalil said that qualification for interpretation of all the laws of the world was known, but for interpreting of Islamic law, everyone considered himself qualified and eligible. He suggested that a change in the mindset and training for those who were involved in the enforcement of Islamic laws was greatly needed to achieve success in this regard.He further suggested that periodical review of the existing laws, training opportunities and refreshing courses for law professionals was a must for the smooth and just administration of judicial system.Justice Khalil urged the parliament, the bar associations and other relevant bodies to establish research cells for having background information about all the contemporary issues especially related to Islam and Islamic law.Justice (retired) Sheikh Amjad Ali, while presenting his paper on the ‘Present and future of the criminal law of Islam in Pakistan’ said that as one-fifth of the world population, Muslims of the world have a fundamental right to adopt a law of their choice.He said that the Blasphemy Law under Article 295-C criticized by some circles but regretfully, they have no objection on the same law that is enforced in 17 countries of the West.Justice Amjad said that the Hudood Ordinance was not produced by Moulvis, as propagated by some ‘liberals’ but by legend law expert of the region. The commission that drafted Hudood Ordinance in 1979 was presided by Justice Muhammad Afzal Cheema and comprised of eminent ulema and jurists like Justice Salahuddin Ahmad, A.K.Barohi, Khwaja Qamaruddin Sayalvi, Mufti Sayahuddin Kakakhel, Advocate Khalid Ishaq, Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Binori, Mufti Muhammad Hussain Naeemi, Maulana Zafar Ahmad Ansari, Justice Muhammad Taqi Osmani, Mir Ja’far Hussain Mujtahid, Maulana Muhammad Hanif Nadvi, Dr Ziauddin and Tajjamul Hussain Hashmi.He said that the Shari’ah Academy should constitute a committee to review all the observations and objections on Hudood Ordinance and propose a draft bill on the same subject with most of the genuine criticism adjusted.Dr Muhammad Yusuf Faruqi, Director General Shari’ah Academy said that the academy would try to constitute a committee of experts to draft a new bill on Hudood and to present it to the ministry of law and justice.
‘Do not debate, just repeal Hudood laws’
LAHORE: The Joint Action Committee (JAC) for People’s Rights and other progressive women action forums, which staged a peaceful protest against the Hudood Ordinance on The Mall on Thursday, have rejected President Musharraf’s view to restart a debate on such laws and demanded an immediate repeal of all discriminatory laws against women. The protestors shouted slogans against the Hudood laws for more than an hour, calling them as “black laws in the name of Islam”. They carried placards and banners saying there was “no need to debate on the issue”. They said the laws were a curse on the name of the state and had curbed women’s rights. They said “mullah’s politics” had introduced the Hudood laws and now the ‘mullah-military alliance’ was planning to continue them by restarting a debate. They also raised slogans for women’s rights and against honour killings.The rally was staged in the memorandum of a rally taken out by the same groups in 1983 at the same place, which was baton charged. Around 500 women were moving towards the Lahore High Court to present a memorandum to the then chief justice but they were stopped on the road and the rally was crushed. Talking to Daily Times, the protestors rejected a recent speech by President Musharraf that there was a need to restart a debate on the Hudood laws. They said the public demanded such laws repealed and a recent commission, established by the government, had also declared the repeal as necessary for women’s rights. Advocate Asma Jahangir from the AGHS Legal Aid Cell said there was no need to restart the debate as such debates had been conducting by the state since 1980. She said women action forums and organisations had been struggling against the laws for the last 23 years. She demanded the repeal of all such discriminatory laws at once. She said that two national commissions, formed by the federal government in different times, had already recommended the repeal. Hina Jillani said the women organisations wouldn’t bow to the president regarding the debate on the issue. “No debate, just repeal the laws,” she said. Ms Jillani said the rally was a clear message to the government that they women groups didn’t want any more debates. She said women’s groups would always oppose bad laws in the name of Islam. She said they would continue to expose the “hypocrisy of the military regime” through their movement. JAC Convener Shah Taj Qizilbash said it had become a usual practice of the presidents to keep on having debates on such laws. She said the Hudood laws had once again become the hottest issue in the state and the JAC would continue hammering such laws. “Circumstances have proved that the government does not want women’s rights,” she said adding the JAC would arrange a big protest rally on March 8 on International Women’s Day.ASR Resource Centre’s Nighat Saeed Khan said the National Commission on the Status of Women had already called for the repeal of the law and its report had also been publicised, so the government must repeal it. She said the deal of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal with the government and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quide-e-Azam was done after the assurance from the government side that they would not touch the issue of the Hudood laws. “Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s speech in the parliament on December 29 is an evidence of that deal, as he said the government wouldn’t touch the laws,” she added.Aurat Foundation’s Farzana Mumtaz said they didn’t want any amendment to the law. “We want it repealed,” she said. “A general committed serious mistake by introducing the law 25 years ago, and now, another general should correct it,” she said.Artist and social activist Madiha Gohar said there was no reason for any debate on such laws. “President Musharraf has the power to repeal such laws. If he can pardon Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan for an unpardonable offence, he can take action on such issues by repealing all laws against women,” she said.Students at the Institute of Women Studies in the ASR Resource Centre also staged a play against the Hudood laws on The Mall. — Waqar Gillani

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