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Top Pakistani cleric criticises women’s rights bill

The recently-passed women’s rights bill by Pakistan’s Punjab Assembly is in direct conflict with Sharia laws and will make men feel “insecure”, a top Pakistani religious and political leader has said.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, an influential religious and political figure who heads the Jamiat-e-Ulema-Islam party which is known for its sympathy for the Taliban, told reporters in Hyderabad city that he felt sorry for the husbands in Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province.

Taking a dig at Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Mr. Rehman said he was unaware that the brother of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is known as Khadam-e-Aalaa (the server of people), was only a server from his own house.

“After the passage of this bill I feel pity for the husbands and they will know now the Punjab Chief Minister is really a ‘Khadam-e-Aaala’ in his own home,” Mr. Rehman said.

“The women’s right protection bill is in direct conflict with Sharia laws. They are enforcing laws of the western society in our society,” Mr. Rehman said.

He said when it came to relations between husband and wife and women’s rights, the government needed to first seek guidance from the Sharia laws.

“We are not against women’s rights but this new law will lead to break ups of homes and make men feel insecure,” he said.

Punjab Assembly passed the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Bill on Wednesday which provides protection and legal recourse to victims of domestic violence.

The bill redefines “violence” to include “any offence committed against a woman including abetment of an offence, domestic violence, emotional, psychological and verbal abuse, economic abuse, stalking or a cybercrime.”

Other clerics have also criticised the passage of the bill and termed it against Islam while human rights and women’s rights activists have hailed it.


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 3:05:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/top-pakistani-cleric-criticises-womens-rights-bill/article8292386.ece

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