PESHAWAR, Feb 3: An MPA of the ruling Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal on Thursday tabled two private bills in the NWFP Assembly suggesting that music and dance in public places and educational institutions, and using photographs of women in advertisements be declared penal offences punishable by up to five years in prison along with a fine of up to Rs5,000 and Rs10,000, respectively.
The 'NWFP Prohibition of Dancing and Music Bill, 2005' and the 'NWFP Prohibition of Use of Women Photographs Bill, 2005' were moved by Mian Nadir Shah, the MPA from Mardan. Both offences will be cognizable and non-bailable.
Under rules, the voting on the bills can take place in three days. Opposition members Abdul Akbar Khan of the People's Party Parliamentarians and Bashir Ahmad Bilour of the Awami National Party opposed the bills.
In their speeches in the house on Thursday, both opposition members said the bills were aimed at Talibanisation of the province. In the first draft law, a public place is a building, house, room, tent, enclosure, road, lane, bridge, square or any other place to which the public is admitted to witness a dance or music performance on payment or otherwise.
The draft law envisages that dance with all its variations shall mean the performance of dance with or without any money consideration or reward. Similarly, music means musical functions with or without any money consideration or reward.
If the law is enacted, dancing and music in a public place or in an educational institution will be considered an offence punishable with imprisonment of up to five years and with fine of up to Rs5,000.
The proposed law empowers a police officer not below the rank of inspector to enter any public place or educational institution and arrest any person who in his opinion has committed, or is committing or is about to commit such offence, including the person who abets the commission of such an offence.
The second bill pertaining to photographs of women reads: "Photograph means a photograph of a woman obtained through camera or hand drawing/painting or portrait, whether factual or artificial, which may amount to any incentive to sensuality or excitement of impure thoughts in the mind of an ordinary man of normal temperament; or tends to corrupt those minds which are open to such immoral influence, or which is deemed to be detrimental to public morals and calculated to produce pernicious effect, in depriving and debauching the minds of person."
The draft law envisages that no person shall use the photograph in derogation of the dignity of human being or for commercial or advertisement purpose or for any purpose of monetary benefit or gain, including matters ancillary or incidental thereto.