Lahore, June 14, 2010: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed concern over the reported decision to appoint a conservative cleric to head the Council of Islamic Ideology.
A statement issued by HRCP on Monday said: “The reported decision to relieve the widely acclaimed scholar for rational interpretation of Islamic injunctions as chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and replace him with an office-bearer of a religious political party will cause widespread concern among the democratic sections of the people.
The reported decision, if true, deserves to be censured as it is too heavy a price to pay for the passage of the federal budget, or even the survival of the federal government. In the long run, neither economic planning, nor the status of the present government will escape the consequences.
Even though the status of the CII is now that of an advisory body after it has been superseded by the Federal Shariat Court, the Council’s decisions still carry a certain influence with devout Muslims, especially laypersons among them. That is all the more reason to demonstrate prudence while nominating the chairman and members of the body.
In addition to being religious scholars, the members, and indeed the chairman, of the CII should also be abreast of contemporary challenges.
HRCP is seriously concerned that such nominations would strengthen forces of obscurantism and strongly suggests that CII positions should not be given away as a reward for political services of dubious value.”
by: Asma Jahangir Chairperson