Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page
Fact is that Quaid’s speech of August 11, 1947 is presented out of its context. Quaid-e-Azam delivered this speech in a very special situation. The position was that it was the first session of the legislative assembly of Pakistan, in which Quaid-e-Azam was elected Chairman. The speech was made to thank the members for this election.
He was speaking with an injured heart before the nation. The sub-continent was going through a blood-bath, man was killing man and rights were trampled. This was the background in which he was clarifying that the State we are getting will provide equal rights to every citizen irrespective of the religion, whether it be Islam or Hinduism. The speech was not to settle the kind and manner of the state; the question was to assure the citizens their rights and safety for life and property. Islam keeps at par Muslims and non-Muslims in this respect. This has been the tradition of Islam and not of the Secularism.
Similarly, the words “Business of the State”, used by Quaid-e-Azam are greatly exploited. Here again intellectual dishonesty is committed, because “business of the state” never means “nature of the state”, it rather concerns the working and administration. There could not be any other interpretation.
Some people use this speech to justify secularism. To these people, I would say that before and after this particular speech, many a time Quaid-e-Azam spoke without break, stressing continuously the need for Islamic identity, to make Islamic Law the basis (of legislation), to design the state system in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah and to establish the society around the principle of Islamic justice and equity (adl). In his speech of July, 1948 at the time of inauguration of the State Bank of Pakistan, and in his Eid message that year, he declared, “We want to enact Islamic Law in the country”. The question now in that why the Quaid’s speech of August 11, stands unique and separate from all the rest of his statements? Is it so that the said speech has annulled all other speeches and declarations he made? Is it his only speech God-revealed and the rest carry no value? To understand the view point and thinking of a person, would we consider all what is available of him, or would choose to look at one solitary statement and that even out of the context? If there is need to see things in total, then Quaid’s concept of the Islamic state is quite clear.
Do these people think that Quaid-e-Azam was an unprincipled person lacking integrity? He would promise the people calling them to come forward and join the struggle of Pakistan as an ideological nation and as standard-bearer of Islamic system and law. But when three days were left in the independence, would he negate all what he had done and said? Would he rather back out and say that he, in fact, had been working for a non-religious secular state? After that (speech of 11th August), would he then again contradict himself and between September 1947 and July 1948 repeatedly stress the need for Islam, in all the speeches he delivered?
Sorry. Quaid-e-Azam never contradicted himself. He was not an unprincipled person. He can never be blamed for confused thoughts or slandered for hypocrisy. He always held his views with courage and valour. He would openly express what he considered was right. He never made conflicting statements. So, this speech of Quaid-e-Azam will have to be seen in the context of his other statements and will have to be reconciled and interpreted accordingly. Quaid was right to say that in Islam there was no theocracy, and the rights of citizens – whether Muslim or non-Muslim – were equal, provided they fulfilled the requirements of citizenship. Yet this never means that Pakistan would be a secular state, or one that would neither have relation with religion or where Islamic laws would not be enacted. We believe that this would be a misleading interpretation of his speech.
In my view this is a false accusation against Quaid-e-Azam. It is the biggest and worst slander than what any critic or opponent could dare label against him. But those who pose to be standard-bearers of Quaid’s thoughts, ware themselves busy to deform his character. As against that, the way we interpret Quaid’s views, fully fits his character and harmonizes all what he ever said. Through this interpretation we see a picture of the Quaid, characterized with honesty, justice and reflecting his true aspirations.
ISLAMABAD (December 23, 2010) : The Federal Shariat Court (FSC), in its short order on Wednesday declared Sections 11, 25 and 28 of Women Protection Act, 2006, as null and void, terming them contrary to Islamic injunctions and made it clear that no other court is empowered to entertain appeals in Hudood cases.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice FSC Agha Rafiq Ahmed Khan with Justice Syed Afzal Haider and Justice Shehzado Shaikh, said that all such offences whose punishments are either prescribed or left undermined, which relates to the acts forbidden by Holy Quran, Sunnah, would without fail be covered under the term ‘Hudood’.
The court declared that the extent of jurisdiction of FSC in matters relating to ‘Hudood’ under Article 203DD is exclusive and pervades all orders passed by any criminal court but relating to ‘Hudood’ and no other court is empowered to entertain appeal, revision or reference in such cases.
“No law can control, regulate or amend this jurisdiction which was mandated in chapter 3A of part VII of the constitution of Pakistan,” the order maintained. An order granting or refusing bail before conclusion of trial in all categories of offences within the ambit of ‘Hudood’ is covered by the word proceedings, as used in Article 203DD, hence within the exclusive jurisdiction of FSC and can only be impugned by Shariat court, it added.
The order said that under the article, 203DD of the constitution following ten offences are covered under ‘Hudood’: Zina (adultery), Liwatat (sexual intercourse against the order of nature), Qazaf (imputation of adultery), Shurb (alcoholic drinks/intoxicants/narcotics etc), Sarqa (theft simplicitor), Haraba (robbery, highway robbery, dacoity – all categories of offences against property as mentioned in Chapter XVII of Pakistan Penal Code), Irtdad (apostasy), Baghy (treason), Qisas (right of retaliation in offences against human body) and human trafficking.
The order further declared the sections 11 and 28 of Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act, 2006 (Act VI of 2006) violate Article 203DD of the Constitution because these provisions annul the overriding effect of Hudood Ordinances VII and VIII of 1979.
The apex court further made it clear that the sections 48 and 49 which pertain to Control of Narcotic Substances Act, 1997 (Act XXV of 1997) and empowers the High Court to entertain appeals are contradictory to the constitutional provisions, contained in Chapter 3A of Part VII because the offences envisaged by Act XV of 1997 are covered under the term Hudood.
The court declared that both the sections are violative of Article 203DD of the Constitution and the portion which contains the words ‘High Court’ should be substituted by Federal Shariat Court in both the above sections of the constitution.
Section 25 of the Women Protection Act, the order said, is also violative of Article 203DD of the Constitution as it omits subsections (3) and (4) of section 14 of The Offence of Qazf, resultantly it is against the injunctions of Islam relating to Lian.
The bench further said that section 29 of Act VI of 2006 is also violative of Article 203DD as it adds clause (vii a) Lian in section 2 of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, hence it also becomes invalid as it is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam relating to Lian. The court also made it clear that section 25 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 has no provision for filing an appeal before FSC in cases where the anti-terrorism court decides a case relating to Hudood offence.
This omission, the order said, also violate Article 203DD, hence the federal government must rectify this error June 22, 2011 otherwise the FSC verdict will turn into law and be part of clause 1 of section 25 of Act XXVII of 1997 after omitting the full stop.
Source : Express Tribune
Aasia is a Christian woman who was sentenced to death after being convicted by a lower court. She is currently being held at the Sheikhupura jail.
The SCBA body, in the resolution, called alleged government initiaives to amend or repeal the blasphemy laws “a shameful effort being made under a foreign agenda, which is strongly condemnable”. The text of the resolution read, “In no circumstances, any amendment encouraging or creating any effort to defile the sacred name and personality of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) can be brought in the statute book.”
The committee, through a unanimous vote, warned the government and members of the Parliament to refrain from implementing any such proposal.
The SCBA and the legal fraternity will never accept any such pardon or amendment and would resist them, the resolution carried by the SCBA body added. The members also expressed concern over Punjab governor’s attempts to get a presidential pardon for Aasia while an appeal is pending before the high court.
The resolution was passed in a meeting chaired by the SCBA president and former chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Asma Jahangir. Sanaullah Zahid, the SCBA Finance secretary moved the resolution.
When Zahid moved the resolution, the president pointed out that it was not on the agenda to which Zahid said, “There have been times when you have moved resolutions not on the agenda”. Jahangir was then told by the finance secretary that she had the right to dissent “though it will be carried by the majority”. The president chose not to exercise the right.
The meeting was attended by SCBA secretary, Qamar Zaman Qureshi; Sindh vice president (VP), KA Wahab; Punjab VP, Zubair Khalid; Balochistan VP, Jahanzeb Khan Jadoon; finance secretary, Sanaullah Zahid; additional secretary, Muhammad Saleheen; and 16 members of its executive committee.
The Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) has already carried a similar resolution. A group of LHCBA members is also holding daily protests in front of the Lahore High Court building against any moves to amend the blasphemy laws.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2010.