The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has condemned the retrogressive action by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) to roll back the Muslim family laws and called on the government to stand in defense of women’s rights.
The rebuke from the commission came following the CII’s statement that there was no minimum age of marriage according to Islam.
“At a time when the state is trying to deal with a grave threat from extremists posing as religious soldiers and the humanitarian challenges in Thar, CII’s controversial leader Maulana Sheerani has chosen to let off a tirade at the disadvantaged women of the country,”
The announcement meant to give parents and guardians authorize to give away young girls in marriage and liberating men of the need to protected the consent of their first wives before admitting second wives to their harems is nothing short of a vicious attack on women’s and girls’ basic rights, the statement said.
“The assumptions underlying the suggestions made by Maulana Shirani and his associates are open to challenge not only on the ground of conflict with the Constitution of Pakistan and universal human rights but also for being hostile of the spirit of the religion these honorable men claim to follow,” the statement said.
It said that rather obviously Maulana Shirani wished to open a new abut against women and to reinforce the militants’ cordon of the state.
In doing so, he has furnished a good reason for a full-scale review of the CII’s functions, its powers, and the justification for its existence, the rights panel said.
“The government must not yield to the CII maneuver, otherwise it will fail in its duty to protect the rights of women, and also undermine its own defenses against extremists’ assault on the state’s democratic foundations,” the statement added.