Participants at the JI event on Saturday.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
Participants at the JI event on Saturday.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

KARACHI: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Senator Sirajul Haq on Saturday described the ‘ruling elite’ as a hurdle between women and their rights in Pakistan.

He expressed regret that certain elements were trying to exploit this oppression and attack Islam in the garb of their campaign for human rights.

Addressing a ‘Khawateen Conference’ at Bagh-i-Jinnah organised by his party’s women wing, the JI chief said the women of Pakistan were actually deprived of their rights by the ruling elite, feudal lords and the capitalist system, which never allow the implementation of all the laws which were derived from the teachings of Islam to protect women and their rights.

“One wonders over the recent claims of the same ruling elite and feudal lords who proudly call for women’s rights,” he said. “They should be questioned by women themselves as to what have you done for rights of women while enjoying power in the parliament and in the economic system of the country. Islam is the only tested system for more than 15 centuries, which ensures rights of women in her every role. These feudals, ruling elite and capitalists don’t want that system to work here in Pakistan.”

Ruling elite, feudal lords depriving women of their rights, says Sirajul Haq

He referred to the rural culture which was “patronised and run” by the powerful individuals and feudal lords with strong influence in the ruling elite and the parliament, where women were deprived of their share in inheritance, which no system ensured, except Islam.

He challenged the past and present rulers of the country of showing any practical example in which they had taken action against their party leaders, who were known for their role to run this culture in the rural areas.

“We [Jamaat-i-Islami] have suggested the Election Commission of Pakistan to disqualify all those people from contesting elections, who deprive their women from inheritance and those who don’t pay Haq Mehar to their wives and also those who are instrumental in seizing women’s rights guaranteed by Islam in their constitutes,” he said.

Addressing the conference, the party’s general secretary for women wing Durdana Siddiqi said that despite 50-year presence in the Sindh government, the PPP did nothing for safeguarding women’s rights and the key segment of the society was still deprived of basic human rights.

In Sindh, including Karachi, she said services of many working women in factories were not regularised and they faced transport problems while experiencing insecurity at their workplace.

“Today, women are deprived of heirship rights and still face brutal tradition like karo kari or honour killing,” she added. “Our aim is to implement Islam in all spheres of life and build a true welfare society. It is the responsibility of the court of law and rulers to ensure women’s rights under true spirit of Constitution and prevailing laws.”

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2020

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