The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), despite serious public opposition, shared the draft of its proposed women protection bill among members, requesting their presence and cooperation in the next meeting which will discuss the final draft that will possibly be sent to Parliament.

The council has provided its own protection bill, which among other suggested clauses, suggests ‘a light beating’ to a wife who disobeys her husband’s commands, which apparently does not sit well with the public.

Secretary of the CII, Dr Ikramul Haq stated, “We discussed only 31 clauses of the proposed draft in the last meeting. We will continue the discussion in the next meeting and the draft has been forwarded to all (council) members.”

He claimed that the agenda of the last meeting of the CII which was held on May 24 comprised of the proposed bill and other topics; however, not all members were given the document.

Presently, all members were advised to come up with necessary changes in the subsequent meeting before the draft is sent to Parliament.

The only female member of the CII, Dr Samia Raheel Qazi, was said to have been absent in the last meeting yet the proposed bill was still debated. However, according to sources, a draft of the bill was forwarded to her, who is said to be in the US.

Mufti Imdadullah, a JUI-F member of CII, drafted the said bill in consultation with his teacher’s, Mufti Sohaib Alam.

The CII secretary averred that ‘a light beating’ would be explained in the next meeting. They further stated that the anticipated bill was drafted in accordance with the Quranic verses and no other material was referred to.

The Council is regarded as a constitutional unit with a mandate to make suggestions or recommendations to the Parliament on Islamic laws. However, the Parliament is not compelled to consider the CII’s recommendations.

The CII drafted its own version of the bill after debunking the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act, 2015, describing it as going against Islamic injunctions.

CII’s Chief Researcher Dr Inamullah supported Dr Ikramul Haq’s stand and claimed that the draft contained 163 clauses and the council had only discussed 31 points so far.

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