In its latest direct onslaught on the women rights, Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has declared laws regarding second marriage of a man in the presence of first wife, against religious principles. The chairman of the council Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani, has said in a press statement that “Sharia allows men to have more than one wife and we demanded that the government should amend the law”.
However, the existing laws require a man to have written approval from his existing wife for second marriage.
Bushra Khaliq, Executive director Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE) condemning the CII recent statement has said, “in the presence of the elected Parliament, there is no room for a parallel advisory body in the constitution. CII is nothing but a bunch of anti-women mullahs who refuse to accept reason and logic and blind to the realities of the modern world. Such an unnecessary body must be abolished, she demanded.
She said the CII has failed to respond to the needs of the changing times. Earlier it rejected the proposals of accepting DNA testing in rape cases as primary evidence and awarding death sentence to people making false accusation under the blasphemy law.
It also rejected the Women’s Protection Act of 2006, which has provided relief to innocent victims of Zina ordinance. Similarly the Domestic Violence Bill, which was unanimously passed by the National Assembly in 2010, was shelved in the Senate due to the opposition by CII and religious parties.
Their track record of denying and resisting the pro-women legislations shows, in line with the Taliban agenda, this body has bent upon stopping and snatching the rights and freedoms, whatsoever, women of Pakistan secured through their struggle.
She urged the women to take guards against the anti-women forces, headed by hardline clergies and Islamist political parties. Let us stand together to protect women rights, she appealed.