CII advises against public hangings of child molesters


–CII chief Qibla Ayaz says ‘certainty of punishment is a solution to the growing social malaise’, calls for speedy trials in child abuse cases

–Top Islamic body endorses Paigham-i-Pakistan fatwa against suicide attacks


ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Thursday advised against introducing an amendment in the law seeking public hanging for child kidnappers, suggesting instead establishment of speedy trial courts for curbing heinous crimes in the country.

“There is no need to amend ‘Criminal Law Amendment Act 2017’ for a modification in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) Act’s Section 364-A with regard to kidnapping or abduction of a person under the age of 14. Rather there is a need to ensure punishing culprits involved in such heinous crime in order to build trust and confidence of judiciary among victim’s family,” CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said while addressing a press conference.

The CII chief was prodded for a more detailed opinion on public hanging of such culprits as demanded by a section of society in the wake of recent incidents of abduction, rape and murder of minor children particularly in Kasur. However, Ayaz desisted from delving into details.

Speaking with regard to seven-year-old Zainab’s murder case, he said the council recommended speedy trial in such cases of heinous crimes in order to ensure easy and immediate justice for the victims. “Certainty of punishment is a solution to the growing social malaise. This can ensure reduction in crimes. The penalty can be publicised through modern means of communication to achieve Islamic objective of deterrence to the crime. This is the main objective of the Islamic theory of penalty,” he said.

The chairman said the council unanimously opined that the justice system of Pakistan has become outdated and has failed to provide justice to the people. “Major steps are needed to develop a totally new justice mechanism,” he remarked.

Talking with reference to Paigham-i-Pakistan fatwa against suicide attacks, he said the council has unanimously adopted the recent state narrative and recommends that legislation should be initiated through parliament to ensure its practical implementation.

“The Higher Education Commission needs to reflect it in the curriculum and make it part of the academic discourse in universities,” said the CII chief. “The provincial government should hold its commission of ulema and civil society in the capitals and cities to make it a topic of public discourse.”

The council also approved the draft submitted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs on Interfaith Discourse, understanding and cooperation. The council opined that a policy developed and based on that document would enhance respect of Pakistan in the global community. The council declared the growing trend of private interest system as a major cause of the exploitation of the poor people, while passing the proposed bill recommended that government should take immediate step to stop that practice.

The meeting was attended by CII members including Dr Sajjid ur Rehman, Allama Abdul Hakeem, Justice (r) Muhammad Raza Khan, Dr Samiyah Raheel Qazi, Sahibzada Zahid Mehmood Qasmi, Maulana Imdad ullah, Allama Syed Iftikhar Hussain Naqvi, Justice (r) Manzoor Hussain Gillani, Dr Qari Abdul Rasheed, Arif Hussain Wahadi, Abdul Zafar Ghulam Muhammad Sialvi, Maulana Hafiz Fazal ur Raheem, Malik ullah Bakush Kalyar, Khursid Ahmad Nadeem, Ragib Hussain Naeemi and Pir Rooh ul Hussnain.

A few weeks ago, the Senate Secretariat referred the bill to the CII for its view over public execution. This move came after the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice discussed a proposed amendment to the section of 364-A of the PPC to allow public hanging last month.

The amendment was proposed by Senator Rehman Malik, who argued that such a step would send a strong message and act as a deterrent against those who have been involved in heinous crimes.

But many senators, who discussed the proposed amendment to the PPC, advised caution against such measures. Lawmakers were of the view that emotions should not take over rationality in such cases.