CII allows discussion on prospective bill for protection of men’s rights; fortunately, Parliament will have complete right to dismiss whatever the controversial constitutional body proposes
The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) – the manifestation of Pakistan’s ill-advised policy of instituionalising religion – has offered up its latest absurdity; granting a plea for a discussion to debate the subject of Pakistani men’s rights and their protection.
The request for the discussion – put forward by CII member Sahibzada Zahid M. Qasmi this past week – was granted in today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the council.
Meeting of Council of islamic ideology pic.twitter.com/r2RMdeG7oR
— Dr Samia Raheel Qazi (@srqazi) November 15, 2016
In a letter to CII Chairman Maulana Mohammad Sheerani, the member had proposed that a bill be passed to provide better protection of men’s rights in Pakistan.
Qasmi, also the incumbent secretary general of the Pakistan Ulema Council, had written that “some women in Pakistan torture men, and force them out of their houses… Islam grants rights to men as well and in this society those rights are being violated.”
He had cited cases where women had convinced male relatives to beat up or harass their husbands, and that there were no shelter homes for men who may be turned out of their houses by their wives.
Qasmi had called for the council to take up a discussion on men’s rights protection, similar to the one it had for women’s rights earlier this year.
With the council allowing the request for discussion at today’s meeting, it would now proceed to work on recommendations for a potential bill.
Once approved by the council members, the CII’s draft would be forwarded on to the parliament for further action. Fortunately, however, the parliament has all right to dismiss the council’s recommendations.
The CII had come under fire in May this year after its women protection draft bill proposed that it was justified for men to beat their wives in ‘a light manner’.
While the council’s proposal brought about a barrage of scathing criticism from mainstream political parties, the civil society and the legal fraternity, the debate it generated helped bring to light how deeply embedded patriarchy remains in Pakistani culture.