Farhatullah Babar demands review of Qisas laws, questions role of CII


ISLAMABAD: Former Senator Farhatullah Babar has called for a review of the Qisas (retribution) and Diyat (compensation) laws so that pardon can be granted only after court conviction and not before it.

Speaking at a national consultation on gaining support for pro-women policies and legislation at a local hotel in Islamabad Thursday, he said, “Granting pardon before court conviction had only encouraged honour killings as the murderer, often a close relative of the victim, was promptly pardoned by another close relative”.

Time has come for drawing up a broad-based Charter of Women Rights overseeing the implementation of Pakistan’s obligations under international covenants like Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), he said.

Babar said that unfortunately the declarations by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) often militated against women.

The CII he said rejected a draft bill for homes for the elderly, rejected the Women Protection Bill, 2006 and in March 2014 declared laws forbidding child marriage unIslamic. It also declared DNA tests unacceptable as primary evidence in rape cases even ignoring safeguards provided by the Supreme Court in its verdict.

The council, he said, pronounced that seeking permission of the first wife for second marriage was not Islamic. “Not long ago it first approved a draft resolution on preventing misuse of blasphemy law but later, faced with pressure, went back on it.”

He recalled that in 1978, it recommended inscribing of Kalima Tayyaba and Allah-o-Akbar on national flag to motivate people for jihad.

He said that although it is a constitutional body, the council was also merely an advisory body which had submitted final report in 1997 and asked for a debate on its role after submitting the final report.