NWFP, PA opposes repeal of Hudood laws


PESHAWAR, Sept 9: The NWFP assembly on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution against proposed recommendations of the National Commission on the Status of Women that seek repeal of the Hudood Ordinance, 1979. The session was presided over by Speaker Bakht Jehan Khan. Naeema Akhtar of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal criticized the women holding a demonstration outside the Parliament House against the Hudood laws, saying the alliance would not allow anyone to repeal these laws, adding that it would counter every move made by NGOs in this regard. On her appeal, women lawmakers from both the treasury and the opposition benches staged a token walk-out against what they termed a "deliberate move against modest family life." Opposition lawmakers, who participated in the walkout, included Nighat Orakzai of the PML-Q, Nasreen Khattak and Ghazala Habib of the PPP (Sherpao) and Imtiaz Sultan Bukhari of the PML- N. Participating in the debate, MMA lawmakers, including Nadir Shah, Maulana Abdur Razaq, Shah Raz Khan, Maulana Idrees, Amanat Shah and Javed Mohmand criticized those who opposed the Hudood laws, saying it was a challenge for forces, struggling for the enforcement of the Shariat. Abdul Akbar Khan of the PPP and Qalandar Lohdi of the PML-Q opposed tabling of a condemnation resolution against the NGOs struggling for the implementation of recommendations proposed by the NCSW. Mr Khan was of the view that women MNAs should take up the issue in the National Assembly Mr Lohdi said that while they had passed the Shariat Bill and sided with the MMA on the issue but he would oppose the resolutions. Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Malik Zafar Azam endorsed the stand of the MMA lawmakers. Senior minister Sirajul Haq passionately supported the stand taken by MMA legislators, saying the alliance would not make any compromise on the issue. Later, the speaker allowed Naeema Akhtar and Nighat Orakzai of the PML-Q to table two identical resolutions against the anti-Hudood laws lobby. Abdul Akbar of the PPP abstained from the voting. Speaking on the role of MPAs in connection with development schemes, Anwar Kamal Khan of the PML-N advised lawmakers to re-assess their role after the dissolution of district development advisory committees. The MPAs, he said, should not be made subordinate to the district coordination officers. Qazi Mohammad Asad, Mazhar Qasim Shah, Muzaffar Said and other MPAs criticised what they termed illegal appointments in their respective districts.

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