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Women Protection Bill

20 November, 2006

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The passage of controversial women protection bill has plunged the country into a political crisis as the six-party religious alliance, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) has announced that its legislators will resign from the national assembly in protest against the bill during the next session to be held on December 6 and 7.

The religious parties have termed the bill unislamic, while the government and pro-Musharraf political parties dub that as in accordance with Islam.

Under the bill, the rapist can be sentenced to jail for one day only as the maximum punishment of the rapist is 25 years, while the minimum is not mentioned.

Religious parties fear that this would allow the rich and influential to get off the hook easily and many people will be forced to take the law in hand to punish the rapist.

Analysts believe that the military regime, already shaken by the killing of 80 civilians in a deadly air strike on a seminary in northern tribal area of Bajur on October 30, followed by a suicide attack on an army training center killing 42 recruits, could not afford any large-scale political crisis in the country.

On the other hand, the government has also submitted a draft bill containing various amendments suggested by the religious parties, to the national assembly with a view to quenching the simmering controversy.

Here are some questions
1) Was women protection bill need of the hour and more important than the issues like Karo-Kari, forced marriages, exchange of women to settle feuds, and non-compliance of women`s heir rights?
2) Chaudry Shujjat says if MMA proves this bill unislamic, he will resign. Now, who should be the judge to decide that?
3) Was there any US pressure behind the passage of this bill?
4) Do you think MMA`s resignations would contribute anything positive in this regard?

Reader Comments:

Women protection bill

WPB is in fact women destruction bill. There is nothing serious to reduce the difficulties and woes of the fair sex. There is nothing for education, health, heirdity, and free justice. Nothing against forced marriages or Kao Kari and Vata Sata. It ony concerns with sex and rape. Women have to do nothing with these two. Most of the women are not vulnerable to rape and there is only two or three case annually in the whole country. So common woman has nothing to do with this bill. There may be no American pressure but it is certainly to please them. As Blair said that Pakistan is bringing reforms and has done courageous ligislation which we acknowledge and doubling Pakistan's support.

Muhammad Riaz, Pakistan - 20 November, 2006

MMA resignations

The resignations of MMA are not in the interest of either the country or Muslims. Asseblies have almost completed their tenure and MMA is making numbers by resigning now and trying to get support in the name of Islam. They had got vote in the name of Islam and done nothing either for Islam or Muslims.

Muhammad Riaz, Pakistan - 20 November, 2006

World Women reform needed based on HM Queen in Right vs 6-3 women in UK-Can

There is no protection under HM queen in right vs victim women 63 of UK-Canada democracy since Pakistan was split 50/50 in 1971 .World reform is needed as next trial is approaching soon as massive injustices(in unprecedented scale or magnitude in the history of bills of democracy).

Z.B, United Arab Emirates - 23 November, 2006

Let the nation not the leaders decide

The nation faces too many problems at present and some times even the need of the hour needs to be held in abayance. I have the answers to the four questions based on my views as such;


1) Was women protection bill need of the hour and more important than the issues like Karo-Kari, forced marriages, exchange of women to settle feuds, and non-compliance of women`s heir rights?

There is no doubt that there is some change required to prevent sad things like honour killing, honour suicide, women used and barter and trade to settle disputes and the forced marriages of young women to the old men for money. But, at the same time people reaction and the over reaction and sentiments and the general peace in the country has to be taken into consideration. We are already walking on the tight rope and the edge, and peace and law and order in the country have to be taken into account. If, it can be done without disturbing the nation's internal peace, it should be promulgated. Other wise, the change should be held in abayance.We have more than 160 million people in the country and a peace laden concensus should be taken.After all, the opinion of the majority including the women themselves will count in the decision process.We need change in the oudated feudal system. we need to revert to democracy. But,we have failed to undergo changes there because of dangers otherwise.

We must also look at the Islamic world around us.Even the sole super power America has failed to change the Islamic middle east and has cost her the war in Iraq and possible failure in Afghanistan too as the old traditions, Islamic or un-Islamic are deep rooted.Even Ataturk of Turkey was able to bring partial change. Rural Turkey still carries traditions. Even a very progressive and strong middle class Iran of the Shah baffled the west of the Islamic revolution and people's change to the old ways. Read the book stoning of Sorraya with her beautiful picture on the cover. She was stoned to death in revolutionary Iran for pre-marital sex.

We have even failed to stem out deep rooted Hindu traditions of dowry and caste system.The change should come peacefully. Otherwise it should be done when the majority wants it.


2) Chaudry Shujjat says if MMA proves this bill unislamic, he will resign. Now, who should be the judge to decide that?

Again, battles over the issue will consumate our internal peace, which is already very turbulent.The nation is badly wounded with terror and counter terror measures. The things can explode after America folds up in Iraq and goes home. Retreat in Iraq will follow retreat in Afghanistan.The Islamic regimes toeing America's line will find it impossible to survive with stop of money flowing their ways and people's and democratic powers taking over.In our case, the internal peace should be taken into account while making changes. Some times even genuine changes are put off to keep peace and law and order in place.

3) Was there any US pressure behind the passage of this bill?

Pressure or no pressure, the change is required if you want to move with the world. Specially, the laws to stem out honour killing and honour suicide must be brought.There are limitation to America's power when it comes to changing traditions. Very tough resistence in only one Arab country Iraq has made America roll back on its great designs of change in middle East. They are now thinking about exit stretegy even if it will make America's control on world's enetrgy resources weak. Like in 1990,the west's control on only two energy rich countries(Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi) out of the big seven(Iran,Iraq, Kuwait, Russia and Venezuella beinf the other five)will bring tremendous energy insecurity for the west. This energy insecurity can even bring the fall of the west especially after Russia bounces back and China is super powered enough and enables Shanghai accord to challenge America militarily.There are big dangers coming in the world and we must keep peace within and near our country.We must postpone even genuine changes if they bring dangers to our internal and external peace.

4) Do you think MMA`s
resignations would contribute anything positive in this regard?

These resignations prove the internal discord and that can disrupt internal peace of the country.The nation cannot afford split based on discord and discontent, nor it can be forced.The force may work for now but it will be short lived. We will have tough choice between going the ways of the west or keeping old traditions still being practiced in Iran or the Islamic Arab and non Arab middle east and Africa. Even the volunteers in 9/11 and the fighters in Iraq are of Arab origin and they have refused to accept the modern traditions. Iran's Mutah and the Arab's second, third and fourth wives and concubines mitigate the chance of honour stonning and honour killing and honour suicides.
Even in Iran and Shia middle east, more practice of Mutah
has mitigated honour killings.

Anwar Mahmood, Canada - 24 November, 2006

Women's protection bill

I agree with Mr. Riaz concerning the fact that forced marriages and Kao Kari are not mentioned in the WPB when they should be. Why not address all abuses Pakistani women may have to face?

I speak only of forced marriages and Kao Kari because I don't know what Vata Sata is.

Also, don't a lot of rapes go unreported as they sometimes do in my country? Couldn't "the common woman" have more to do with this bill than is perceived?

As an American, I know I should stay out of it, but I don't think this bill is going to "please" America as Mr. Riaz wrote. America would want all abuses toward Pakistani women to be addressed in the WPB.

At least this would be the wish of most ordinary Americans, who, quite frankly, look at the treatment of many women in Muslim countries with consternation and dismay.

A bill protecting Pakistani women of all the abuses they may face. That would certainly please most of the American people.

May the WPB be just the beginning...

Ayasha, United Kingdom - 24 November, 2006

Good for women

The main essence of the bill is to give protection to women in Pakistan. Now whether there are other issues more important than this one or not, should not be our concern as Pakistanis. Most of us believe that this bill will indeed bring betterment for the majority of Pakistanis who happen to be women.

MMA's reaction always lack the sense of responsibility. They are only playing politics and least interested about the development of Pakistan. They are not possessed with the wealth of intellect and knowledge to forsee above than their head or if I may say Turbans, so let's not give them much importance. Their resignation will have no impact, so let's not much worry about them.

Pakistan is economically moving ahead, and if anyone has doubts, then they are not sincere to Pakistan, let them go abroad and settle down, like BB and Nawaz.

Agha, Pakistan - 24 November, 2006

Women protection bill

itis islamic & in favour of a common woman

rashda, Pakistan - 24 November, 2006

MMA resignations

MMA has decided to tender resignations on 6th December from National Assembly. This act is neither Islamic nor patriotic. It will create disturbance and turmoil in the country. People have voted them for bringing Islamic clauses and positive changes in the constitution. They still respect them and do not expect negative politics from them. They are advised not to leave ground to those who dislike turbans and beards. Moreover the elections are not far away and if they resign, people will take it as political drama. They have already made a mistake by neither suggesting positive amendments nor voting against women protection bill. In emotional politics, these mistakes are repeated again and again.

Muhammad Riaz, Pakistan - 26 November, 2006

Women Protection Bill.

As President Musharaf has expressed his will and is working on, to make Pakistan a MODERN ISLAMIC STATE like Turkey(What a laugh), approval of this bill is the very first step towards making Pakistan a secular state. I don’t know how free, protected and strong women will be after this bill but one thing is clear that the police will not have the power to stop the suspicious couples and ask about their relationship to each other or to raid homes, parks and hotels to arrest the people who are doing adultery and other things. It is not like that as, thing like this were not happening before but after this bill it will be done under the protection of the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN.

Raja Saeed, United Arab Emirates - 26 November, 2006

WPA- good for Pakistan

This bill is very good for pakistani women. The religious parties only have an extremist view of islam. Look what heppened in neighbouring Afghanistan with the taleban, mullahs should be encouraging respect and rights for women, not treating them as second class citizens. a victory for women against the extreme religious fanatics. Well done Mr Musharaff!

zahid saleem, United Arab Emirates - 26 November, 2006

37 countries guarding democracy and Bills

Women Protection Bill and democracy men women modern milaap is as progressive as Taliban who had kept multiple women under burqa for own exploit as Islamic.These 37 countries soldiers are making Afghanistan women and Afghan Govt modern by G8 legislation.

Zahir Bahas Mubhas, Afghanistan - 27 November, 2006

What exactly in WPB is Parallel to Islam as new shruaat(beginning)?

No body even briefly described what is WPB which require competing with Islam in lieu of just Chaudhry Shujjat resignation.Chaudry Shujjat says if MMA proves this bill unislamic, he will resign. But will any body explain what exactly in WPB is against Islam?

Z.B, United Arab Emirates - 27 November, 2006

Lies & Distortions by Geo TV about Hudood Ordinance

5000 characters aren't enough for expressing my full opinion. I would like all people to invest a few minutes to read the following:-
http://jsmawais.googlepages.com/Lies.zip
http://www.cssforum.com.pk/6177-women-protection-bill-wpb-reform-just-stone-stagnant-water-2.html

Thanks!
Queries be directed to: jsmawais@gmail.com

Abdul Rehman, Pakistan - 29 November, 2006

Passing of WPB was the finest achievement of ganeral Musharraf, not Kargil, not fight against terror. He shouldn't stop at this but show his commando spirit to reappeal all Hadood laws. If he does that then, that will a major achievements than any democratic leaders have done for Pakistan. He is in an unique position & power to this, like a general he should not back down. Then my hats off to him, then he can rule for ever.

a s ahmed, Pakistan - 03 December, 2006

Good for women of Pakistan and Islam

This is a realistic approached of Pakistan and it will bring in more respect for the right of Muslim Women all over the world. I think women play every part and their ideas in making of Homes and Countries as well. We have seen all over, that women are playing important roles in USA, UK and all the developed counties. I must say this situation will improve the condition of women in Pakistan and also allow them to participate in the making of this country. Every woman must give their point of view and must participate in every aspect of country development.

The old school of Islam which have put Pakistan under lot of pressures and even country like India have developed educationally and economically, I think it is time to not to listen to those Mulas (Sorry to say), their idea are so dull and non Islamic. We need a lot of research to adjust ourselves with time. Universities (not Madarsas) of Islam have to be established other wise Islam if we have to get rid of mullas' hold on interprestting the religion.

I am not against these mullas but Madrassas teaching will never enforce any true teaching of Islam. Any interpretation of the religion should be approved by the body of Islamic organization who are qualified graduates of Islamic universities, whom we all should call a certified individual just like CPA, CMA. I personally will not accept any "Fatwas" from any body unless it is unanimously approved by the standard of Islamic teaching and it is very important to interpret the meanings of "Quran" in the present world .
Mullas have no right to judge people; they have no right to enforcetheir wrong point of views. They must stop dictating the poor people of Pakistan how to live life . We don’t want them any more, to tell us what to do. We are in this situation now that the rest of the world, think that Islam is the religion of terrorist.s They must look at Turkey, Egypt, and their approach of new developed Islamic society. We must respect all religions.

Aslam Sheikh, Pakistan - 04 December, 2006

What a country?

This is a country where laws are passed by a parliament and approved by a General President (in whatever haste) before they are discussed widely. Now wait for series of ammendments in so called WPB.

sunny, Pakistan - 04 December, 2006

WPB

The president should have done away with the Zia era Hudood laws which he used to entrench himself even further, and I think we should abide the Quaids sayings and keep religion in our homes and as far as the religious parties go, I think they seem to be preoccupied with how men and women look and what they wear, not what troubles the average family on a daily basis, health education to name a few

hanif, United Arab Emirates - 05 December, 2006

WPB

Have you ever heard that enough is never enough? I can assure you that people just like to relate everything to America whether it is a war against terror, WPB, democracy or earthquake.
WPB is something that gives women much leverage and assures their rights in very effective manner. Some of the writer mentioned about Karo Kare, others talked about forced marriages. But they are not able to understand that WPB is not the entire constitution that will cover all women related issues/crimes. This bill is purely and simply to make prosecution easier for those who are involved in rape cases. It gives leverage to all Pakistani women. It protects their rights more effectively. And it deserves appreciation. We are quick to say this should have done this way or that way but we don’t understand facts. Pakistan is not an easy country to rule, it has liberal, conservatives and moderate. One cannot make all of them happy but at least we should have courtesy to acknowledge this achievement.
It is a fair and good step, and believe me there is no pressure from international community or any power, however, it is welcomed. Now the major task is to implementation of this bill, we may make many laws and write many constitutions but it is useless if law and enforcement agencies cannot enforce them.

Zulfiqar Tanoli, United Kingdom - 05 December, 2006

The Truth

The immediate conclusion of monotheism is the fact that sovereignity and legislitative powers are the exclusive rights of Allah. According to the Islamic faith, no one has the right to permit what has been prohibited by Allah and no one has the right to prohibit what has been pemitted by Allah and so also no one has the right to enact a law contrary to the Laws of Allah . To deny this is to invalidate the " Shahadah- 'There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger ".

Aurangzeb, Pakistan - 06 December, 2006

Nowhere does the Prophet allow rape

It is very simple: by definition rape is taking a woman against her will. This is so against Islam the penalty in scripture is death. How then can you oppose a law that makes it easier for women to protect themselves and punish rapists? How can this possibly be against Islam? Because it allows the case to be proved in a National court instead of religious one?

Does this mean you are saying it is more important for Islam to control all justice in Pakistan than it is for women not to be raped? That controlling justice is more important than there actually being some?

That is not Islam. Would the Prophet (pbuh) have allowed a rapist free because only 2 men witnessed it? Or would He have said justice was more important than religion controlling the courts?

Kane, Aruba - 12 December, 2006

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