CII backs legislation on triple talaq as punishable offence


ISLAMABAD:  Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz on Wednesday said that the authority supports the decision of deeming triple talaq in one sitting as punishable, adding that the council would undergo consultations with various scholars soon to decide the appropriate punishment in such cases.

The chairman was addressing the media after a CII session, where he said that saying ‘I divorce you’ three times at the same time has emerged as a pertinent issue.

He said that the punishment regarding this will be discussed with religious scholars and also on making a consolidated divorce paper.

Dr Ayaz said that a session will be summoned on the issue of triple talaq soon. “A draft for the consolidated form will be submitted for the federal government’s review,” he said while adding that work on the matter was already in progress.

He further said that the CII discourages marriages of minors and told reporters that the council aims to launch a nationwide effort in consultation with scholars to highlight and promote family values in Friday sermons.

Dr Ayaz said that the council considers children below the age of 16 as under-aged and the issue of child marriages would be discussed in detail in the council’s next meeting.

The council has also urged the government to begin an awareness drive with the assistance of religious scholars to discourage people from supporting underage marriages.

Furthermore, attempts to make educational institutes carry out awareness drives regarding underage marriages will also be made.

The issue of triple talaq had arisen from neighbouring country India earlier this year when Muslim women in the country had petitioned the court, arguing the practice of husbands divorcing them through “triple talaq”, including by Skype and WhatsApp, not only violated their rights but left many women destitute.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, popularly known as the triple talaq bill, was moved in the Indian Parliament to make the act of divorcing a wife by uttering the words thrice, a criminal offence proposing a sentence that could extend up to three years.

On November 3, Dr Qibla Ayaz was appointed as the CII chairman, Pakistan’s top Islamic advisory body, for a period of three years. He replaced Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani, a politician from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), who had headed the council for six years.

The CII was first set up in 1962, during the term of Gen Ayub Khan. Its mandate was and is to assist the government in Islamising the laws.