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Pakistan

CII opposes president’s clemency power

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ISLAMABAD:

Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz has opposed the authority of the country’s president to pardon convicts. The CII chief said the power of the president to pardon punishments was against the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

He added that the president should not have the authority to pardon sentences. Ayaz believed that the president should particularly not have the power to pardon murder sentences, adding that the CII was in contact with the law ministry to discuss other legislations that were against the Sunnah.

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He continued that the CII had given its recommendations to the ministry on family laws as well including a second marriage. This is not the first time that the CII has given a controversial recommendation.

In 2021, the CII chairman expressed his concerns over the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2021, adding that the legislation carried some clauses which contradicted the social values of Muslims and declared it un-Islamic.

Ayaz raised 12 points in the bill that he said were unacceptable to the Islamic injunctions and teachings. He was of the opinion that the definition of violence as defined in the bill was distracting. He added that it was unclear if a man remarried, whether or not it would be considered as violence.

The CII chief said if a husband and wife quarreled with each other, then the matter would be referred to police. In this way, he added that the domestic issue would start reaching the police stations that might wreck the family life.

The then PTI-led government faced a great deal of criticism on X (known as Twitter back then) after news broke that it had sent the bill to the CII for review.

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In a letter dated July 5, 2021, Babar Awan, the then adviser to the prime minister on parliamentary affairs, pointed out that the bill, initially passed by the National Assembly in April that year, was referred back to the lower house of parliament after the Senate suggested amendments to the proposed law. The letter stated that concerns have been raised over “various definitions and other contents of the bill”.

The bill was initially moved by Shireen Mazari, the then human rights minister, on April 19, 2021 and was only going to apply to Islamabad as Sindh, K-P and Punjab all have their own laws against domestic violence.

Many social media users objected to the fact that the CII lacked female representation, even though it was mandated by Article 228 of the Constitution.
Others believed that the bill was comprehensive enough to “terrify men”.

(With input from agencies)



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Pakistan

MQM-P urges devolution via constitutional amendments

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Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Senior Deputy Convener Mustafa Kamal has said that his party has proposed three constitutional amendments for the devolution of powers from the Chief Minister’s House to the people in the streets in order to save the country.

Addressing the ‘Meet the Editors’ programme of the Council of Newspaper Editors (CPNE) on the theme of ‘General Elections and Future Strategy’, Kamal said that the amendments proposed by the MQM-P were vital to save the country. He said that the party was sending these proposals to the leaders of all political parties.

Read  MQM-P plans election rallies across Sindh

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“Those who are angry with the slogan of province should support our constitutional amendments,” he said. “Despite the 18th Amendment, powers and financial resources have not been transferred to the grassroots level.” He criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), saying that the former ruling party in the provinces was banking on the boycott from London.

However, he asserted that the MQM-P would win all 22 National Assembly seats from Karachi in the upcoming general elections.
“The MQM is fully active for the preparation of the elections,” Kamal said. The MQM-P leader added that currently, there were three major political parties in the country – the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the PPP.

Read more MQM-P raises serious objection to fresh delimitation

On the occasion, MQM-P Coordination Committee member and former federal minister Aminul Haq said that elections would be held on Feb 8. He assured that the MQM-P fully believed in the freedom of expression and the rights of journalists. Whenever any attempt was made to usurp the rights of journalists or restrict the freedom of expression, Haq added, the MQM-P, along with the CPNE and other journalist organisations, resisted and thwarted such moves at every forum, including parliament.



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Ahad Cheema acquitted in NAB reference

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LAHORE:

An accountability court on Friday acquitted Ahad Cheema, the special assistant to the caretaker prime minister, in assets beyond means reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Accountability Judge Ali Zulqarnain had reserved the ruling on the acquittal plea after hearing arguments of the NAB prosecutor and the defence counsel earlier in the day. Cheema also appeared before the court during the proceedings.

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On Nov 27, in a supplementary report, NAB informed the court that Cheema’s assets were consistent with his known income, asserting that properties held by alleged benamidars/relatives were not his. Based on evidence, the case under NAO, 1999, was not substantiated, it added.

Read Three PM aides fail to submit asset statements

Cheema had served as the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general during the PML-N government in Punjab. The bureau had arrested Cheema in 2018 when he appeared before a joint investigation team in connection with the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case.

Later, NAB initiated assets beyond means and other inquiries against him. However, Cheema obtained bail in three cases, including assets beyond means case in 2021. 



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Bilawal consults legal minds on ZAB reference

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ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday consulted legal minds of his party on the presidential reference case of his late grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

The development came during a meeting of central and provincial officials as well as legal experts of the Peoples Lawyers Forum (PLF) at Zardari House here. Bilawal chaired the meeting.

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During the meeting, the PLF officials briefed Bilawal on the presidential reference case of ZAB. Farooq H Naik and Shahadat Awan participated in the meeting through video link while Qazi Bashir, Bahram Khan Tareen, Raheel Kamran Cheema, Sajid Tanoli, Gohar Rehman Khattak, Ghiyasul Haque and Asrar Abbasi were present.

Read Bhutto murder reference to be heard after 11 years

Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Faisal Karim Kundi, Raza Rabbani and Amna Paracha were also present in the meeting.
Meanwhile, a civil society delegation also met with Bilawal and discussed the challenges faced by the masses and their solutions.
Bilawal appreciated the delegation for their services and performance in their respective fields.

Ahmed Faraz Khan Advocate, Barrister Saifullah Ghori, Bilal Tariq Khan, Dr Abdul Mohiman, Dr Maria Hamid, Dr Salma Malik, Faheem Sardar, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir, Huma Fawad, Jahanzeb Durrani and Kanwal Malik were among those who met the PPP chairman.

Lubna Bhayat, SM Tariq, Javed Akhtar, Pir Mohammad Anwar, Junaid, Raja Mohammad Khan, Sania Kamran, Shehbaz Zaheer, Shamamata Al Ambararbab, Buland Sohail, Kashaf Ahmed, Talha Rahmani, Osama Malik, Usman Iqbal Bandal and Yusuf Masih were part of the delegation. PPP Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi was also present on this occasion.

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