ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani activist protests about Ehtram-e-Ramazan ordinance which has caused much problems to the non-Muslims in Pakistan.
It was in 1981 during the General Zia’s rule that “Ehtram-e-Ramzan ordinance 1981” was confirmed which gained acceptance with the power transferred to PML-N as they seem to follow General Zia’s footsteps. This ordinance is one of the many beyond the understanding laws that were introduced by General Zia- ul- Haq. Most of ordinances introduced by General Zia that were intended to impose Islam in Pakistan with no respect to the religious minorities in the country were unconstitutional and against the law. Likewise the Sabbath Law was State sanctioned in the U.S but most of such states that had such laws have repealed these laws or laid them off. However, in Pakistan Ehtram-e-Ramzan ordinance 1981 is still enforced with public reminded constantly every time during the month of Ramzan that it is unlawful to eat, drink or smoke publicly during the month of Ramazan. The law states that: any person who is under obligation to fast be not allowed to eat drink or smoke in public.
Practical imposition of this ordinance generally causes much nuisance to the Non-Muslims, sick, elderly or is a woman who may be menstruating. However, this law’s appliance has more strictly been observed for the Non-Muslims. In many cases the police target the poor in implementation of this law. As a case in point, police arrested labourers for a mere drink of water during extremely hot days of July.
What is noteworthy in this course of discussion that, no article of the constitution of Pakistan authorizes the state to force people to,” pray, fast or live according to the injunctions of Islam.” Indisputably this issue seems to have heightened the insecurity of the religious minorities in Pakistan as the time has come for the government to repeal this ordinance which negates the idea that religious observance is a personal matter and the state is not obliged to force people.