ISLAMABAD — Dr. Qibla Ayaz, chairman of Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), has spoken out against the president’s pardon power. According to the CII head, the ability of the president to pardon punishments is contrary to the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
He also argued that the president shouldn’t be able to pardon criminal convictions. The CII has been in touch with the law ministry to address other laws that go against the Sunnah, and Ayaz has expressed his opinion that the president should not have the right to pardon murder sentences.
The CII’s proposals on family law, which he said should allow for second marriages, were also sent to the ministry, he said. The CII has a history of making controversial suggestions like this one.
The chairman of the CII voiced his disapproval of the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2021 in 2021, calling it “un-Islamic” since it contained provisions that ran counter to the social norms of Muslims.
Ayaz identified twelve specific provisions of the draught that he argued were against Islamic precepts and doctrines. According to him, the bill’s definition of violence was too vague. He also said it was uncertain whether or not a man’s remarriage would be seen as violent.
The head of the CII stated that a dispute between a husband and wife would be reported to the police. By involving the police in domestic disputes, he continued, the stability of households was put at risk.
There was a firestorm of outrage on X (formerly known as Twitter) once it became public that the PTI-led government had forwarded the bill to the CII for evaluation.
Babar Awan, the prime minister’s adviser on parliamentary affairs at the time, wrote to parliament on July 5, 2021, explaining that the bill had been passed by the National Assembly in April of that year but was sent back to the lower house after the Senate suggested amendments to the proposed law. “various definitions and other contents of the bill” were cited as sources of worry in the letter.
On April 19, 2021, Shireen Mazari, then the human rights minister, introduced the bill, but it was intended to apply exclusively to the capital city of Islamabad; the provinces of Sindh, K-P, and Punjab already have their own anti-domestic-violence statutes.
Social media users were outraged that women were not included in the CII, despite the fact that this was required by Article 228 of the Constitution.
Other people said the measure was “terrifying men” in its comprehensiveness.