An opportunity squandered in Pakistan, as a cabinet committee chips away at reforms of the Hudood rape laws. Sharia Alert from the Daily Times: “Hudood Ord amendments: Cabinet body to delete adult age clause”
ISLAMABAD: The cabinet committee formed to review draft amendments to the Hudood Ordinances has decided to delete a proposed change that would make sex with a girl below the age of 16 the offence of rape.
Cabinet sources told Daily Times that several minister had objected to this clause when the draft amendments were presented to the cabinet for approval a week ago. The prime minister formed a six-member ministerial committee to resolve differences over the
The sources said Sher Afgan Niazi, the parliamentary affairs minister, Aftab Sherpao, the interior minister, and Dr GG Jamal, the culture minister, had argued at the cabinet meeting that this amendment would cause trouble in rural and tribal areas where girls are traditionally married off at a young age. The ministers argued that in Islam, a woman becomes an adult when she reaches puberty.
The sources said the six-member ministerial committee had now communicated to some cabinet members that it had decided to remove this condition. The other amendment that ministers objected to was one that would give equal weight to the testimonies of adult
male and female witnesses in rape cases. They had also voiced concern at the timing of the bill, but the prime minister had rejected this concern, the sources said. The bill was to be tabled in the National Assembly on Monday, but was delayed on account of the ministers” objections. It is now expected to be tabled on Wednesday, after a parliamentary party meeting of the ruling coalition on Tuesday endorses the bill.