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WAF for repeal of Qisas and Diyat laws
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WAF for repeal of Qisas and Diyat laws


By Our Staff Reporter

LAHORE, July 26: The Women Action Forum called on Friday for immediate repeal of "discriminatory" laws like Qisas and Diyat that "place women at a risk and lead to barbaric practices to resolve enmities as has been witnessed in Mianwali."

In a statement issued here, the WAF was glad to note that the chief justice of Pakistan had taken suo motu notice of the matter. "But we strongly feel that as long as laws such as the law of Qisas and Diyet remain on the statute books, injustices and inhuman practices that deny women their humanity, will continue to take place, as it is impossible for the judiciary to take note of all such cases."

The WAF demanded that the government take concrete steps to ensure that extra-legal and extra-judicial fora like jirgas and panchayats are not allowed to take law into their own hands. "The incident, coming soon after the Meerwala gangrape also carried out at the behest of a local jirga, highlights the need for a sustained campaign in the media and educational institutions as well as other fora to create awareness against primitive customs and tribal practices that degrade women and the powerless."

The statement added: "What is particularly shocking about the Abbakhel incident is that the jirga decision was supported by former members of the parliament and an ostensibly educated man like the Nawab of Kalabagh, none of whom can plead ignorance of the law. It is important that they, too, be held guilty and penalized accordingly."

SPARC: The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child expressed its dismay over the Mianwali case, saying it reflected upon social attitude towards women and children. It deplored the fact that such attitudes were constantly justified on the basis of cultural ethos and values that had resulted in Pakistan's virtual isolation in the world.

The Sparc condemned the government for its failure to repeal "archaic and barbaric" laws that extenuate the disparity in the ruling and the ruled classes and result in the perpetuation of an exploitative system that brutalizes children, women, and the poor.