Hudood Ordinance amended on a Bogus Claim against all Canons of Democracy and against Constitution

The main reason being given for the amendment of Hudood Ordinance is a lie. A false and baseless propaganda is being carried out by President Musharraf and his stalwarts and also by the secular and the Westernised Muslims and women organizations. All of them make a bogus claim that Hudood Ordinance is responsible for all the harassment to which the innocent women are being subjected by the Pakistan police in the name of this Ordinance.

President Musharraf has said in his televised speech, as all other opponents of Hudood Ordinance also claim, that if a woman is raped and goes to police to register a complaint and if she cannot produce four eye-witnesses according to the Islamic law, then she is arrested for the false report and is charged for adultery or for sex-by-consent under the Hudood Ordinance. As a matter of fact, it is all false, baseless and a clear lie. There is no such provision either in Quran and Sunnah or in Hudood Ordinance. But they have used this false and bogus claim as a basis for the repeal of relevant Islamic provisions of Hudood Ordinance concernig rape and have promulgated a new law in the name of protection of womens’ rights.

As a matter of fact, Hudood Ordinance clearly states that a women should not be punished, if she is unable to produce four witnesses or any other evidence of herself being a victim of rape. She reports to police so that it could find out the criminal and/or the evidence of such a heinous crime. It is the duty of the police to try to find out the evidence, as it usually does for all other crimes which are reported to it.

This bugus claim is authoritatively refuted in a recently published article by Justice (R) Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani. He explains that if anyone says that such victims of rape are being punished because of Qazaf (false accusation of rape) for their inability to bring four winesses or any other evidence to substantiate their accusation, Qazaf Ordinance, Clause no. 3, Exemption no. 2 clearly states that if someone approaches the legal authorities with a rape complaint, she cannot be punished in case she is unable to present 4 witnesses or any other evidence. This is exactly the opposite of what the Hudood ordinance opponents are propagating against such a fair law. Unfortunately, laws are being made in our country based on such falsehoods.

Our police goes a step further. Not only it charges the victim for false accusation of rape (Qazaf), it further charges her for Zina-bil-Raza (sexual intercourse by consent) as well. This is done, again, in the name of Hudood Ordinance, whereas the ordinance has no such provision. The falsehood of this second part of the bogus claim against the Hudood Ordinance also becomes clear in a decision of the Federal Shariat Court (FSC), as published in the daily DAWN on Feb. 1, 2006 under the news heading: "FSC sets guideline for trial courts: Misuse of Zina (i.e. Hudood) Ordinance."

DAWN correspondent has rightly called it a historic decision. “When an accused is charged by a female for zina-bil-jabr then, notwithstanding delay, pregnancy or any other reason, the female accused should not be, in the first instance, charged under section 10(2) of the ordinance for zina-bil-raza (sexual intercourse by consent) unless material/evidence is available on record,” the FSC Chief Justice Chaudhry Ejaz Yousaf observed in the judgment. This judgement clearly sets guideline for trial courts that a woman who has come to complain of being a victim of rape should not be charged for Zina-bil-Raza (sexual intercourse by consent) under any circumstances, irrespective of the fact whether she is able to produce any witnesses or any other evidence to substantiate her accusation or not. The police should bring some separate new solid evidence if she is to be charged for Zina-bil-Raza under a separate case. Her admission of Zina-bil-Jabr (Rape) should not be treated as an evidence of Zina-bil-Raza (sexual intercourse by consent). Separate new evidence is required and is obligatory to register a separate new case to charge her for a new offence of Zina-bil-Raza. She cannot be charged or accused for a Zina-bil-Raza (sexual intercourse by consent) offence in the same case, in which she has registered herself as a victim of rape.

Why such a charge is inadmissible in the same case? The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) gives the reason in its above judgement that when a complainant woman is also charged with Zina-bil-Raza (in the same case), the best evidence against the male accused is lost, because zina occurrence hardly takes place in presence of others. In the absence of victim’s statement, trial court finds it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to convict male accused.

The court held that in such cases male accused should be charged accordingly (i.e. according to the complaint of the rape victim) by affording opportunity to the complainant to substantiate her allegation (instead of counter-charging her for any other offence like Zina-bil-Raza & etc.)

The suggested mode of trial (i.e handling the case only according to her charges) , the judgment said, would not only eliminate chances of wrong prosecution of the prosecutrix but would also enable her to come in the witness box and furnish evidence, to be used appropriately.

If the prosecutrix/ complainant is able to prove her case against the accused, then the matter having reached its logical conclusion would end then and there, the court said.

The FSC held that when a female, particularly an unmarried girl, opts to report a case of zina, she in fact takes a great risk because due to loss of chastity, she is likely to carry social stigma attached to a victim of zina for rest of her life and might not be able to have a suitable match.

The injury caused to a victim of zina is not simply physical but is an opprobrious attack on her dignity and integrity as well. That is why most of the victims prefer to bear personal insult and trauma of rape instead of reporting the matter, the court observed.

Against so many odds, if she still chooses to come forward and complain about the incident, then her statement should be given due importance and must not be viewed with suspicion at the very outset, the order said. Despite such a clear explanation by the FSC, how the Hudood ordinance could be held respobsible if police from the very outset suspects the victim of rape as an accused of Zina-bil-Raza.

Therefore it is necessary for the trial courts to be alive of the situation and in cases registered under the Hudood Ordinance, instead of charging the victim along with the male accused, should proceed with the case as per the allegations (by the victim of rape), the court said. This judgement makes it clear that police is not allowed to counter-charge a victim of rape under the Hudood Ordinance. It explains in detail that nowhere Hudood Ordinence ordains such an authority to the police. Whatever police is doing is against the very spirit of the Ordinance. Therefore, there is no justification in amending the Hudood Ordinence on such a false plea.

This second part of the bogus claim against the Ordinance is further countered by Justice (R) Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani. He says that the other possibility could be that the woman is awarded punishment for committing adultery with free will. In such a case, usually there is lack of sufficient evidence to prove that the woman is lying. In 99% of the cases it so happens that if the court of law is not convinced that the woman has been raped yet since there is lack of sufficient evidence to prove the willful involvement of the woman, she is given the benefit of doubt and is set free.

Countering this bogus argument, Justice (R) Usmani has also provided a reference from a foreign non-Muslim legal expert. He has written that since from the very beginning voices are being raised against Hudood Ordinance that innocent women are being punished because of it, an American Scholar Charles Kennedy got interested and visited Pakistan to conduct a survey of the cases. He analysed all the data related to Hudood Ordinance cases and presented the results in the form of a report which has been published. The results are very much in line with the above mentioned facts. He writes in his report:

"Women fearing conviction under Section 10(2) frequently bring charges of rape under 10(3) against their alleged partners. The FSC finding no circumstantial evidence to support the latter charge, convict the male accused under section 10(2)….the women is exonerated of any wrongdoing due to reasonable doubt rule."

— (Charles Kennedy: The Status of Women in Pakistan in Islamization of Laws; page 74)

This is what an unbiased non-Muslim scholar who has got no sympathies toward the Hudood Ordinance observed with regard to such women who had actually consented to committing Zina, and then due to the pressure from side of their families, tried to declare their deed as Zina bil Jabr. They were not asked to produce four witnesses, but to furnish circumstantial evidence. On being unable to furnish circumstantial evidence which would give weight to their claim of having been raped, only the male parties were punished, whereas the female parties went unpunished, as no transgression could be proven on their part. Hence there is no such clause in the Hudood Ordinance according to which, if a woman fails to produce four witnesses to support her claim of having been raped, she is to be punished rather than the offender.

About the misuse of this ordinance by police, the FSC observes, "It has been found in some cases, that the victim was arrayed as co-accused by police with malafide intention to oblige and benefit male accused. Thus they killed two birds with one stone because female victim, to save her skin, normally denies or disowns zina when charged of the offence. Or if she is courageous enough to stick to the charges then her statement being the statement of co-accused becomes inadmissible against the male accused."

"It adds insult to the injury when the male accused due to “lack of evidence” or “for want of proof” is acquitted and the complainant/female accused on her own admission or on the basis of circumstantial or medical evidence especially in case of pregnancy is convicted."

Justice (R) Usmani has further clarified on this point that it is however possible that during investigations conducted by the police, and before the matter could be brought to the court, some rape-victims were indeed wrongly and without any justification arrested as committers of Zina bir-Radha. However, this is not because of any flaw in the Hudood Ordinance. Unfortunately the police in our country are quite prone to commit such acts of injustice while enforcing the law. But this does not mean that the law has to be changed. In our country, keeping heroin is a crime. And it happens quite often that the police themselves hide some heroin with innocent citizens only to pressurize them afterwards. Should we then–”in order to resolve this situation–”abolish the law according to which keeping heroin is a crime?

Through its decisions, the Federal Shar’iah Court had several times set an end to maltreatment which rape-victims had to suffer at the hands of the police. However, if one was to assume that this risk has not yet been fully eliminated, then one could draft a law according to which no woman claiming to have been a victim of rape could be arrested under any article of the Hudood Ordinance, until the court has delivered its final judgment. Besides, one could make further laws stating the punishment for one who wrongly arrests a rape-victim. But under no circumstances is it permissible to abolish the punishment which the Holy Shari’ah has laid down for Zina-bil-Jabr.

Hence, the way in which the bill under discussion abolishes the punishment which the Holy Shari’ah has prescribed for Zina-bil-Jabr is in utter contradiction with the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, and it is in no way related to the maltreatment of the concerned women. In addition to it, several learned Ulama of different schools of thought have already published many articles, criticizing the new law and showing in detail as to how and where the new law is against Islam in several respects.

Delegations of well-known, authentic, unbiased Ulama, most of whom have no connection with any political parties, have met the leaders of the government parties, with Chaudhri Shujaat in Islamabad and with MQM (Altaf Hussain) representatives and also with their governor, Karachi, Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ibad in Karachi and have submitted the summary of their demands based on the following 6 points:

1. The way in which the Hadd of Zina bil Jabr (Rape) has been abolished in the under discussion bill, is completely against the injunctions of Quran and Sunnah. The issue of police excess against women could be addressed through declaring the arrest of the complainant under any clause of the Hudood Ordinance a criminal offence until the case is decided by the court.

2. Once a case regarding Hadd is decided by a court then giving the right to the provincial government to condone or reduce the punishment given by the court is against Quran and Sunnah. Therfore, the right given to the government to reduce the punishment by removing the clause 20 section 5 of the Zina Ordinance is in disregard of Quran and Sunnah.

3. By declaring adultery (Zina bil Raza), which is liable to Hadd, and lewdness above the jurisdiction of police, these crimes have been virtually made offences that cannot be punished at all.

4. By disallowing a single court to give punishments according to evidences proving multiple or different kinds of offences will only encourage the criminals. As a result cases will switch from one court to another and judicial complications will arise.

5. By amending the Qazaf Ordinance to allow a man not to attend the procedure of La’an even on the demand of a woman, leaving her astray, is against the injunctions of Quran.

6. The amendment in the Qazaf Ordinance that even after the voluntary confession of a woman she cannot be punished is in disregard of Quran and Sunnah.

They appealed even in their press statement to get an appointment with President Musharraf but failed to get any. They were not provided any opportunity by the President at least to give a patient hearing to their views.

Choudhry Shujaat has accepted the Ulama’s plea that the preset law is un-Islamic and he has promised to try to amend it by December 31. MQM has objected to the meeting and the promise of Choudhry Shujaat with Ulama. The Prime Minister and the President have declared that they will not accept any amendment in it. Chaudhry Shujaat’s pious wishes may not materialize.

Mufti Muneebur Rahman has gathered signature of over 400 Ulama so far. A signature campaign by the masses will also be started soon. A convention of over 3,000 Ulama was organized by Jammat-ud-Dawah, a non-political group of genuine Islamic scholars, in Lahore condemning the new Law. A country-wide peaceful strike and demonstrations soon after the Friday prayers were held on Dec 22 by Wafaq-ul Madaris, a non-political network of all religious schools in Pakistan, and was supported by all other religious organizations. Majlis-e-Amal, a combination of almost all religious political parties with their elected members in the House, will start a country-wide movement against the Musharraf government until the next elections in 2007. Jamat-e-Islami is determined to direct all its elected representatives to resign from the Assembly. The government will be alienated from the masses if the protest movement gains momentum. Then it will be too late for Musharraf to change course. Like Bush, he will have to stay the course generating more unpopularity than what Bush has earned by his adventure in Iraq.

Speaking in a seminar organized by the Shari’ah Academy of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) on 11th July 2005, Justice Amjad said that the Hudood Ordinance was not produced by Moulvis, as propagated by some ‘liberals’ but by legend law expert of the region. The commission that drafted Hudood Ordinance in 1979 was presided by Justice Muhammad Afzal Cheema and comprised of eminent ulema and jurists like Justice Salahuddin Ahmad, A.K.Barohi, Khwaja Qamaruddin Sayalvi, Mufti Sayahuddin Kakakhel, Advocate Khalid Ishaq, Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Binori, Mufti Muhammad Hussain Naeemi, Maulana Zafar Ahmad Ansari, Justice Muhammad Taqi Osmani, Mir Ja’far Hussain Mujtahid, Maulana Muhammad Hanif Nadvi, Dr Ziauddin and Tajjamul Hussain Hashmi.

The opinion of world-renowned foreign Muslim scholars was also sought. The opinions of Dr. Maaruf Doaleebi, ex-Speaker of Syrian Parliament, Dr. Mustafa Zarqa, another Syrian Muslim scholar and the ex-Attorney General of Sudan were also incorporated in the final draft. Then the draft was also circulated by the Ministry of Law to all other Ministries and widely publicized in the newspapers and the magazines to elicit public opinion on its draft. Comments from the scholars and intellegentsia were also sought. The Ordinance was also approved in 1985 by the National Assembly. It was enforced after the cabinet approval and endorsement of Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo and was made a part of the 1973 constitution by placing it as clause 270-A of the constitution.

It was not a sudden act of a military dictator. It was not passed in hurry, as the rubber-stamp assembly under General Pervaiz Musharraf has recently done to pass a far-reaching, anti-Islam amendment in it and for which the president is not ready even to give an appointment to hear the point of view of the learned Ulama against it.

There has been a consensus in the country for the last 27 years i.e. since Feb 10, 1979, when it was first promulgated by the late President Zia-ul-Haq after 14-month-long (1977–1979) deliberations and consultations with the Ulama, prominent Jurists and Islamic scholars, as mentioned above by Justice Amjad, that all its provisions are based on Quran and Sunnah and are applicable under today’s situation in Pakistan. Why suddenly a hue and cry has been raised against it? Every one will speak of only one reason, which is totally based on falsehood. Under a military dictatorship, to pass laws based on lies and baseles, bogus, claims is not a miracle.

After cancelling the Islamic clauses, Pakistan has now become a Sex-Free Zone, according to Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Leader of the Oppisition in the parliament. Thus the newly passed legistation has truly become a "Protection of Prositutes’ Rights Act," as police is not allowed to find and arrest them, unless there is a complaint registered by either of the offenders. If there is any case of Zina-bil Raza or adultery i.e. sex is by mutual consent, then police has no right to interfere, as adultery is declared above the jurisdiction of police, according to this new law. Now the prostitutes have thus been made free to open their brothels, as they are called Chaklay in Urdu, for the purpose of adultery or Zina-by-mututal-consent in front of or around each Police station in Pakistan and they can ask the police to protect them and their rights.

Downtown in every city in Pakistan will be a den of prostitution and may provide a strong temptation for the foreign tourists to visit. This is how our foreign exchange reserves will increase and our country will thus be free of all foeign debts by selling our Muslim women’s bodies to foreigners, as the facial features of Indo-Pak subcontinent women are regarded as the most beautiful in the world. Thus Pakistan will become a modern country at least in one respect, if not in technology, in economy and in the standards of living & etc., just by adopting all such social evils prevailing in the modern societies.

The spread of Lahore-style Heera Mundis (Red Light districts) all over the country will facilitate the secularists of our country to bring in and pass more such legislations to cut the roots of Islamization for ever. The US would gladly approve such a secular and so-called ‘moderate’ Islam, which would be against the injunctions of Quran and Sunnah. But the weekly Time magazine, commenting on the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Turkey, has observed that despite about a century of seculariztion efforts (by various governments and the military) in Turkey, Islamists have ushered in again and, at present, an Islamists’ government has come into power. Similarly, despite a temporary truimph of the secularists in our country in promulgating such an anti-Islamic law in a constitutionally-declared Islamic State of Pakistan, whenever a truly democratic government will come into power, either after the natural death of President Musharraf or after any change of regime for any unforeseen reason, the new government will have to cancel the present law to consolidate its democratic base and to win over the entusiastic support from the masses.

In a military dictatorship, masses have no role to play. But such unpopular acts of government will widen the gulf of estrangement between the government and the masses. This widening gulf of non-cooperation by the masses will ultimately lead to a weaker and waker government day by day. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz is a very sincere person, who has sacrifised his lucrative job in the Citibank and is working without taking any salary from the government for the sake of the economic development of Pakistan. But he cannot be successful under unpopular Musharraf policies for secularization of Pakistan againt the people of an Islamic country. These people have sacrfised their hearth and home for the success of Pakistan movement, as they were told by the leaders that this movement is for the sake of and in the name of Islam. But unfortunately our President has chosen to undermine it by trying to impose his own personal worldview on a different species of masses by creating a widening gulf between the government and the people. Japan, Europe and the US have become advanced countries of the world as there is no tussle between the government and the people. Governments act according to the popular will of the masses. A military dictator is not ready to appreciate this impediment to the economic progress and advancement of the country, even though Musharraf has claimed himself to be a champion of democracy in his book.

In this respect, General Musharraf should learn a lesson of democracy from Benazeer Bhutto. Despite being secular like Musharraf in her personal worldview, she did not try to impose it over the Islamist masses. Respecting democracy or say, being a pragmatic leader, she confined her secular worldview to her own person, and did not try to amend any clause of Hudood Ordinance. She had been the Prime Minister of Pakistan twice but she did not touch it out of respect for the sentiment of masses and to run her government without alienation with the masses. She voted against it when President Musharraf came out against the Hudood of Allah without caring for the future consequences for himself here and in the hereafter, for the progress and advancement of the country and for the long-term survival of his cherished government in military uniform.

He says that, after the failure of two assasination attempts on him, he is not scared of any thing now. His courage is a matter of appreciation. But Indira Gandhi could not secure herself from her own guards after her army interefered with the religion of Sikhs. Ayub Khan had to lose power after he promulgated Family Laws Ordinance against Shariah. Like Benazir, General Musharraf should keep his secular worldview confined to his own person and should not try to impose it on the unwilling masses, who have not been educated in Christian schools like the Saint Patricks in Karachi or the F.C. College, Lahore. The masses get their weekly lessons and interpretation of Islam every Friday from the so-called Mullas, whom he hates, as revealed in his book.

He pleads for democracy in his book. He convinced the army Generals against imposing Martial Law after he was saved miraculously from the plane, which was left with only 7 minutes of fuel before he got the clearance to land in Karachi. It is also a kind of Martial Law to impose his own personal secular views on the masses of an Islamic country who want to respect the Hudood of Allah. Unlike Musharraf, they do not get their Islam from an imported scholar from Canada. They follow the Islam of his hated Friday-preacher Mullas. Democracy demands that he should respect their worldview, even though he hates it.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, despite being a secularist, had to do the same. He never claimed to be an Islamist. He came to power on a socialist-like platform promising to provide bread, shelter and clothes to the masses. But he found it convenient to act like a staunch Islamist and converted himself, for the time being, into a die-hard ‘Mulla’ hated by all secularists in our country. He found himself a person restoring 1956 Islamic constitution, declaring Qadianis a non-Muslim minority, announcing Friday to be a national holiday and holding 1st Muslim Summit Conference in Pakistan. He had to do all this to get popular support. And despite doing all this, his dictatorial regime had so much alienated himself from the masses, that a military person, General Zia-ul-Haq found it convenient to sack him out of power.

Secularists in our country are not even 3%. But like the Zionists in America, they weild a huge influence over government and its policies by taking undue advantage of their positions of power. There is a long history of clash and struggle against each other between the Secularists and the Islamists in Pakistan, that delayed the promulgation of an Islamic constitution in our country by 9 years until 1956. The secularist could delay it but were defeated in the long run. The promulgation of Hudood Ordinance 27 year ago in 1979 was another slap on their face. But with the blessings of a military dictator, they have temporarily succeeded now for the first time in the entire history of Pakistan in fulfilling their cherished agenda. They have easily imposed a legislation against the popular will of over 97 percent Muslim masses. Will such measures against the peoples’ wishes can last for ever?

All these attempts for secularization of Pakistan will ultimately result in an utter failure, as the Muslim masses of Pakistan are continuing their present escalating peaceful protests against such anti-Islamic laws. A day will come, when Musharraf will be out of power either by his natural death or by any unforeseen developments to oust him. As he himself says that he came to power by luck without any pre-planning. His departure from power may also be very unceremonious some day by the same luck, which he believes to be a powerful force that has saved his life six or seven times in the past. By going against the laws of God, he is inviting the lady luck to go against him next time. Musharraf is inviting a big risk against himself and his government by adopting the policies of mass alienation. As the people are now convinced that they cannot bring a change of government even after 2007 elections, the chances of some extreme and harsh action from some unknown quarters brighten. Whenever a new democratic government in Pakistan will usher in and find it necessary to contact masses for their votes, such a legislation, which is supported by only 3% secularists in our our country against the will of the overwhelming vast majority of Muslim masses will have to be declared as null and void and be thrown into a waste-paper basket. A law made on a bogus claim will find its natural death some day, when truth will prevail.

But much before such a remote possibility, it may become null and void soon, if the Supreme Court of Pakistan declares it unconstitutional for being against Quran and Sunnah, as already a lawyer has petitioned to the court. The first starting sentence in the preamble of our 12th April, 1973 Constitution declares, "Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Almighty Allah alone," and that the "people of Pakistan" shall exercise authority "within the limits prescribed by Him." The question arises whether the present Protection of Women’s Rights Act is "within the limits prescribed by Him?" Of course, not. Hudood is just an Arabic word which means the same, "the limits prescribed by Him." The present law is an amendment in "the limits prescribed by Him." Thousands of Ulama from all different schools of thought have unitedly risen against it in protest and have called it a clear transgression of "His limits," how can such a law be within the above preamble framework of our Constitution?

Again at the end of the preamble, it says, " Now, therefore, we, the people of Pakistan, Cognisant of our responsibility before Almighty Allah and men; Congnisant of the sacrifices made by the people in the cause of Pakistan; Faithful to the declaration made by the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, that Pakistan would be a democratic State based on Islamic principles of social justice; ……….Do hereby, through our representatives in the National Assembly, adopt, enact and give to ourselves, this Constitution." Here again phrases like "responsibility before Almighty Allah,""the sacrifices made by the people in the cause of Pakistan, and "based on Islamic principles" obligate to follow Hudood mentioned in Quran and Sunnah. Ulama of all schools of thought and of different sects together can easily prove in the Supreme Court where and how the new law is against all these phrases emphasized at the end of the preamble of our Constitution and is against the injunctions of Islam.

Fortunately, the preamble also reminds us about "the sacrifices made by the people in the cause of Pakistan." I want my secularists friends to answer a simple question. Were all "the sacrifices made by the people in the cause of Pakistan" meant to make it a secular state like Kemalist Turkey (of Ataturk) or to make it an Islamic state? If the sacrifices were made by the people for the sake of Islam, is it right for the secularists to cheat them now after 59 years by misusing their position of power to try to make Pakistan a secular state instead of Islamizing it? Were their sacrifices meant to secularize Pakistan? Present legisation bulldozed by a military dictator through its rubber-stamp Assembly for the purpose of repealing the Islamic provisions of Hudood Ordinance of 1979 is a first step toward secularizing Pakistan after 59 years. It is a bulldozed legislation because that more than forty members of government party followed their conscience and absented themselves from voting for such an anti-Islam legislation. Their leader Choudhry Shujaat submitted his resignation and still says that if he and his government party could not amend this un-Islamic legislation, he would resign. But the General has publicly threatend that he will see who dares to resign. Under such public threats from the the General plus the President, how the government members can dare to say No. But It makes clear to guess how the bill might have been bulldozed behind-the-scenes. However, are these people doing justice to the pious souls of those who died for the Pakistan movement hoping it to be an Islamic state? Is it the honest way to pay homage to "the sacrifices of the people" by destroying and burying in the graveyard of oblivion the very purpose for which they had to given their precious lives? Such an attempt at secularization is also against the preamble of our Constitution and therefore sufficient to declare it unconstitutional.

Moreover, Part IX of our Constitution is labelled as "Islamic Provisions." Pakistan constitution demands that all laws pertaining to Islam, should first be referred to Islamic Ideological Council. Article 229 of the Constitution says, "The President or the Governor of a Province may, or if two-fifths of its total membership so requires, a House or a Provincial Assembly shall, refer to the Islamic Council for advice any question as to whether a proposed law is or is not repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam." Despite such a demand by the Leader of the Opposition, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, on the floor of the House, the bill was rushed through and such a reference was refused.

Even though the imported chairman of the Islamic Ideological Council from Canada may be an Islamic scholar but he and his coleagues are not Alims qualified to give such a new and surprising interpretation of Islam for the first time in Islamic history, which no Muslim scholar dared to give during the last 15 centuries. Their Fatwa to label the present legislation as ‘Islamic’, may suit the needs of the present secular government, which is paying their salaries, but their Fatwa cannot be acceptable to the Muslim masses. It was this kind of pressure to produce a ‘new Islam’ to suit the secular needs of a military dictator that all genuine, authentic and God-fearing Ulama resigned from the Council, as it had become difficult for them to act according to their conscience. Under these circumstances, had the government benches heeded to the call of the Leader of the Opposition, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, to refer the bill to the Council, it would have received its cherished answer to go ahead, but this procedural mistake is at this stage sufficient for the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional unless it is passed through according to the required procedure in the Constitution.

Furthermore, it is against the Objectives Resolution, which is now a part of our constitution and also against another specific clause. The first Article under "Islamic Provisions" is No.227. Clause 1 of this Article of the Constitution clearly stipulates, "(1) All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, in this Part referred to as the Injunctions of Islam, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such Injunctions."

The present law does not fulfill all these constitutional requirements. There is a very very strong possibility that the Supreme Court may declare it unconstitutional on the basis of above Constitutional clauses. It is therefore destined, by the grace of God, to be an act of past history, against all the wishes and attempts of President Musharraf and other secularists of our country.