Hisba bill being discussed

Published January 23, 2004

PESHAWAR, Jan 22: Experts are deliberating on the controversial draft Hisba bill before tabling it in the NWFP Assembly to make the document acceptable to the masses.

Speaking at a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Thursday, the spokesman for the 21-member Nifaz-i-Shariat Council, Mufti Kifayatullah, said that the MMA government would not make a hasty decision to table the bill in the assembly.

He said lawyers and experts on Islamic laws were finalizing the draft, before tabling it in the assembly for approval. "We aren't going to pass the proposed act in haste, but taking our time so its clauses don't clash with the Constitution. We are still in need of suggestions from experts," he said.

According to him, officials of the Shariat Council had been discussing pros and cons of the Hisba bill, with a view to bring its contents in line with the injunctions of the Holy Quran and Hadith.

He said that priorities had been accorded to those issues about which the Constitution offered no specific solution. "This is absolutely wrong to declare Hisba bill against the Constitution. It does not carry any logic that its passage and subsequent implementation will pave the way for the establishment of parallel courts in the province," Mufti Kifayatullah asserted.

He added that the proposed Hisba bill would cover the areas where the laws or either nonexistent or weretechnically incorrect despite existence. There should be no hue and cry, because the main objective of the Hisba bill to make the relevant institutions to comply with the laws and provide relief to the common people, he said. According to him, the people should appreciate the MMA, which was struggling relentless to bring much-needed reforms in the laws to benefit the people.

Regarding the main areas where the experts are actively involved, are child labour, violence against women, bad customs, misuse of loudspeakers, beggary, slashing of expenses on marriages and other ceremonies, cruelty to animals, fighting of animals, women's rights and minorities rights.

He said steps had been taken to put brakes on the un- Islamic customs, such as Swara and practice of honour killing, adulteration and creation of artificial shortage of edible stuff by the shopkeepers and traders, bribery and other social evils.

Mufti Kifayatullah opposed raid onJamia Farooqia, Rawalpindi and operation in Wana in the name of Al Qaeda and Taliban elements by the federal government would affect the solidarity and integrity of the country.

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