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ISLAMABAD: Though it is legal and in accordance with the Hanafi school of thought, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Wednesday supported the imposing of punishment for triple talaq in one sitting.

CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said the council believes that this is in accordance with fiqh, but it is something which needs to be discouraged.

Talking to media persons on Wednesday, Dr Ayaz discussed the ruling by the Indian Supreme Court regarding the announcement of triple talaq at one time.

“This is a technical issue and needed a careful approach, but we have suggested that there should be some punishment for those who announce triple talaq at one time. The matter is now in the hands of the government,” he said.

Experts on the matter in the CII told the media that triple divorce is not applicable in the Shia and Ahl-i-Hadis schools of thought either.

Dr Ayaz added that the CII should not limit itself to the role of formulating laws in accordance with Sharia and that there is also need for suggesting ways and means for resolving issues faced by society.

He suggested the CII be turned into an official think tank to work in fields related to Muslims and demands of the current times.

“We have a responsibility towards the non-Muslims living in our country the same way as it is our duty to draw some guidelines for Muslims living in other countries.

“Like we demand halal food and for states to help establish mosques, the CII will also hold a discussion to devise guidelines for Muslims in other countries in regards to their conduct and responsibilities,” he said.

He added that society is changing and that it is the CII’s responsibility to issue suggestions in accordance with Sharia for the upcoming challenges.

“One such challenge will be the post CPEC scenario when many people in Pakistan will have Chinese spouses, and the growing role of girls and women in society,” he said.

The CII chairman also brought up US President Donald Trump’s recent statement about Pakistan and stressed on the need to counter internal weaknesses in the country. He said the most serious threats faced by Pakistanis are sectarianism and terrorism.

“Clerics have a key role in countering these threats and we will work on involving them in the matter,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2018