Adviser to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan has penned a letter to Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser suggesting that the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2021 be sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) to check if the proposed law is or is not “repugnant to the Injunctions of Islam”.

The bill was passed in a series of legislation passed with the Ministry of Human Rights efforts. Senate passed two key government bills related to human rights last month: Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2021 and the Islamabad Capital Territory Senior Citizens Bill 2021.

Both the bills were opposed by Mushtaq Ahmed from Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Atta-ur-Rehman from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), and Rana Maqbool from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). This opposition to the bills resulted in massive support on social media against the domestic violence bill, with the hashtag #We_Reject_Domestic_Violence_Bill_2021. 

Speaking on Geo News programme ‘Naya Pakistan’, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari had asked, “Can someone tell me which clause in the bill is against our religion?” The minister expressed her confusion as to why a bill meant to protect citizens from violence within the domestic circles would be met with such controversy and opposition from political groups. 

“This law is not only for women, but men can also file a case using it,” Mazari added.

Earlier in 2016, the Punjab Assembly passed a women’s protection bill, which the CII and religious parties strongly rejected, declaring it ‘unIslamic’.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government sent a similar bill to the Council for review in the same year, which it rejected based on being “un-Islamic” and announced it would prepare a ‘model’ bill in response. The council said — in its model bill — that husbands had the right to “lightly” beat their wives.


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