ISLAMABAD, Aug 30: The National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) has recommended to the government that the Hudood Ordinance should be repealed, and asked the authorities to draft a new law, if needed, in its place but only after an open discussion in parliament.
Talking to Dawn, NCSW Chairperson Justice Majida Rizvi said after five indepth meetings, the 18-member special committee on Hudood Ordinance was of the view that the law should be repealed instead of introducing certain amendments to it.
She said only two members of the committee, Dr S. M. Zaman and Dr Fareeda, opposed the proposal to repeal the law. The committee was constituted under the auspices of the NCSW in May 2002 to review the Hudood Ordinance.
The other 16 members of the committee unanimously agreed that the law should be repealed as it was the brainchild of an individual (Gen Zia) with “certain ulterior motives” in his mind, and that the law had nothing to do with the society, she said.
Justice Majida Rizvi said for the last more than two decades women had been the worst victims of this most unscrupulous legislation by the then military regime.
In response to a question, Justice Majida said in the next couple of weeks, a copy of the recommendations would be sent to the prime minister for further action.
The NCSW has the mandate to make recommendations only on certain issues, what happens next is none of the commission’s business, she explained.
She said the commission in its 19th meeting held here on Saturday, also recommended the reversion to the original of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), prevailing before the promulgation of the Hudood Ordinance to deal with Hudood-related cases.
It may be added here that since the promulgation of the Hudood Ordinance by the Zia regime, women rights activists had been calling upon successive governments to repeal this law. However, no action has been taken so far.
A number of commissions and studies were conducted in the past which came up with the same recommendations as were made by the present commission but these suggestions were never implemented.
A member of the special committee told Dawn on condition of anonymity that in view of the MMA’s presence in the National Assembly and the Senate, the commission was not hopeful of any positive outcome even after the present exercise.
He also argued that President Musharraf should have repealed the Hudood Ordinance as he had done in other cases, instead of asking the commission to make recommendations.