ISLAMABAD, July 17: President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Thursday threw his weight behind the cabinet members who advocated that the controversial Hudood Ordinance be amended rather than completely scrapped and formed a three-member committee to take all political parties into confidence.
The decision came at a meeting held at the President House where at least three members of the federal cabinet — Minister for Information Mohammad Ali Durrani, Minister for Women Affairs Sumaira Malik and Minister for Tourism Nilofer Bakhtiar — made out an impassioned case for immediate repeal of the Hudood Ordinance.
But Law Minister Wasi Zafar, Minister of State for Law Shahid Akram and Minister of State for Religious Affairs Aamir Liaquat Hussain carried the day when their demand for making suitable amendments to the Hudood Ordinance found favour with the president.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said he saw eye to eye with the president that the Hudood Ordinance should be amended rather than repealed.
According to a private TV channel, the president directed the cabinet to present a draft bill on amendments to the Hudood Ordinance to the National Assembly on Aug 5.
In the meantime, the committee will seek suggestions from political parties on proposed amendments to the ordinance. It consists of Aamir Liaquat Hussain, Pakistan Muslim League secretary-general Mushahid Hussain and National Security Council secretary Tariq Aziz, who will also head the committee.—Agencies.