PPP cautiously welcomes CII pronouncement on divorce

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party has cautiously welcomed the call by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) to ban the practice of pronouncing divorce three times at once.
The CII had on Thursday stated that if any one pronounces divorce thrice at once, they may be committing an offence against the injunctions of Islam and liable to punishment under law.
“It is too early to make a definitive statement until the fine print of the actual recommendation is made public, but the call itself is a positive development and a step in the right direction,” said Senator Farhatullah Babar in a statement on Friday.
What is needed now is to take the call to its logical conclusion and there is no dithering or backtracking as was witnessed recently during the Council’s discussions on a religion based law.
Babar, who is also spokesperson to former President Asif Ali Zardari, said that the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961 has already laid down the procedure for dissolution of marriages consistent with the latest pronouncement of the Council.
“It is natural that since the Council has declared the practice of pronouncing divorce three times as against Sharia it will also publicly abandon its opposition to the Family Law Ordinance,” he said.
“Continued opposition to the Muslim Family Law Ordinance would be inconsistent with the new public stance of the Council and raise serious questions,” he added.
Babar further said that the Council has unwisely rejected the ‘un-Islamic’ clauses of the Muslim Marriage Act 1939 which allows women to seek divorce on the grounds that their husbands’ contracted another marriage without their consent.
“The Council must now also withdraw its opposition to the Muslim Marriage Act 1939 so that it is not seen as making confusing and contradictory recommendations,” he said.
“Unfortunately the Council has attracted widespread criticism for opposing the DNA evidence in rape cases for definitively fixing criminal liability,” Babar said.
“It has also been criticised for opposing progressive laws aimed at stopping child marriages declaring them as un-Islamic. It is time that the Council revisited some of its retrogressive pronouncements in order to stay relevant,” he added.

Source: The Express Tribune

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