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Pakistan wants Islamic body that said man can ‘lightly beat’ wife to vet domestic abuse bill

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New Delhi: Babar Awan, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advisor on parliamentary affairs, has sought a review of the recently tabled domestic violence bill by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII). A constitutional body, CII advises the legislature on whether a law conforms to the edicts of Islam.

In a letter to the country’s assembly speaker Asad Qaiser Monday, Awan called for a review of the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2021 that was moved by Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on 19 April.

The bill criminalises physical, mental, economic and verbal abuse against women, along with abandonment and divorce threats.

It was passed by the Lower House on the same day but was defeated in the Senate by one vote in May. The bill has been sent back to the Lower House to review suggested amendments.

In the letter, Awan draws attention to various contents and definitions in the bill.

According to a report in Dawn, the letter notes: “Most importantly it is being highlighted that the bill contravenes the Islamic [injunctions] and way of life as enshrined in responsibility of the state in Article 31 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.

The CII has taken controversial stands on anti-domestic violence laws in the past.

In 2016, the body proposed allowing a husband to ‘lightly’ beat up a wife if he deems necessary and declared that mothers must breastfeed kids for two years.

In the same year, the constitutional body had blocked women’s protection bills, which criminalised all forms of violence against women, by Punjab Assembly and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government for being “un-Islamic”.

However, many social media users from Pakistan opposed the review of the domestic violence bill by CII.

International players to participate in Kashmir Premier League

With veteran cricketer Shahid Afridi as ambassador, a Twenty20 tournament will be held in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir between 6 and 17 August in Muzaffarabad.

Called the ‘Kashmir Premier League’, the tournament has been designed to provide young cricketers of PoK a platform to showcase their skills. This is the first premier cricket tournament in the region.

Six teams will participate in the tournament and retired cricketers like Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan, Monty Panesar and Matt Prior from UK, and Herschelle Gibbs from South Africa are expected to play.

The organisers also point out the political relevance of organising the tournament in Kashmir.

“Apart from rendering high-quality cricket, KPL endeavors to be a ray of hope for the people of Kashmir. With the current situation in Pakistan, it is imperative for KPL to make its mark as sports always unites people and brings a positive change in society,” a message on the tournament’s home page reads.

The six teams participating are Bagh Stallions, Kotli Lions, Mirpur Royals, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Rawalakot Hawks and Overseas Warriors.

(Edited by Rachel John)

Also read: World’s hottest place in Pakistan, how Imran got into trouble over Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan remark


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