Participants: Chuadhry Wasay Zafar (Federal
Minister for Law)
Fauzia Wahab (MNA, Pakistan People’s
Senator Professor Ibrahim Khan (Muhtidda Majlis
* Is the Hudood Ordinance
a religious issue or a political one? Why
has this issue not been resolved as yet?
Wasay Zafar: I feel that it has been
heavily politicized and everyone tries to
score a point by stating his point of view.
The emotions of the people are being played
with when it is mentioned that Islam is in
danger if the Hudood Laws are touched upon.
If a law is made, it should be implemented
properly too in order to avoid its misinterpretation.
Which Islam is that which does not gives a
woman rights when she reached the age of maturity?
A girl reaches puberty at around 12 years
of age but we have the set the limit at 16
years after which she can get married to a
man of her choice. This may be a custom in
India, Sarhad or Balochistan where keeping
a woman bounded by tradition is a common thing,
which again is something that was rampant
before the arrival of Islam. The Holy Prophet
has given women so many rights and implementing
them is staying true to Islam.
If a girl marries out of her free will,
in the last three years, the High Court
has allowed the girl to do for the past
three years. Tell me of the times when there
have been incidents where a girl married
out of choice and she wasn’t insulted
by the use of the Hudood Ordinance. Islam
never prohibits a woman from marrying, it
can be our personal or family honour at
stake but the honour of slam is not in danger.
Our religion gives women rights but we do
not think of women as humans and mistreat
them. A man may do anything but when it
comes to a woman, we feel our honour is
at stake. Even when a woman is getting married,
her will is necessary to be asked for. There
are things that need to be changed and that
too at the earliest.
* Do you want to see any
changes in this law or you want it to be
Fauzia Wahab: I want this law to be discarded
as I believe that it has got nothing to
do with Islam. If you have read its text,
then you will be able to see the sick mentality
it reeks of. This law dealing with Zina
came up in 1979, which also relates to Zina-bil-Jibr
too. I just want to know that is there really
so much of rampant adultery in our society
that we need a separate law to deal with
In my opinion, this ordinance is blasphemous,
and I an insult in the face of Islam. It
portrays a sick mentality and gives an impression
as if every man and woman in Pakistan is
indulging in sin. We do not need this law.
This ordinance has words in it that a respectable
woman would never utter. All I can make
out of this ordinance is that the then dictator,
Ziaul Haq had it drafted to please his supporters.
This law should be repealed as it in not
* Is the Hudood Ordinance man made
or is a divine law?
Professor Ibrahim: If this ordinance is
repealed keeping in mind the Quran and Sunnah,
then we will support it but if it goes against
the injunctions of Quran and Sunnah, we
will oppose it. I feel that Fauzia sahiba
has shown her sick nature. If there is a
punishment for a crime, that doesn’t
mean that everyone is a criminal. According
to her rational, then the laws before Hudood
also implied the same. Hudood Allah, which
are mentioned in the Quran offer protection.
In the HO, the first ordinance deals with
theft and states that the hand of the thief
should be cut in order to stop the rime
from spreading. These laws are there to
protect the society. Hudood are those that
are stated in the Quran, such as Qisas and
Diyat, which says that Qisas is mandatory.
Then again, for the protection of wealth,
it says that the hand of the thief must
be chopped. Then there is Haraba, which
is stated in Surah-e-Maiida, and then there
is punishment stated for Zina in Surah Noor.
This means that the penalty set for Zina
is set by Allah and not by humans.
* Is this entire ordinance the law
of Allah? The clauses drafted by men, can
they be repealed?
Professor Ibrahim: There are two parts
in here, one is the punishments that have
been set up by Allah and secondly, it deals
with the implementation of these laws. The
Zabta-e-Faujdari is regulated by our courts
and contains references from the book of
Allah and hence cannot be changed but as
far as the ordinance is concerned, it cane
be changed and updated according to the
A report on the HO
Khalid Masood, Chairman Islamic
The Hudood Ordinance is like other laws.
It is made by humans and it can, therefore,
have weaknesses, even flaws. There can be
procedural flaws as well. To look at all
of these in detail, it is important that
we treat is as a law. Unfortunately, this
issue has been politicized because of which
we do not see it as a law alone.
Justice Haziq-al-Khairi, Chairman
Legal Committee, Islamic Ideology Council
When this ordinance was made, way back in
1979, there was no Parliament and at that
time no one in the public sphere raised
any voices neither these laws were presented
to the public. The people were not even
asked that these laws are being implemented
and what is their opinion on it.
Justice (retd.) K. M. Samdani,
Former Law Secretary, Government of Pakistan
"As far as discussing a law is concerned,
any law can be discussed. Similarly, the
Hudood Ordinance though has been linked
to Allah and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has
nonetheless been constituted by man. It
is man's creation and if some one says that
there cannot be a dialogue on this, he is
Dr. Mehmood Ghazi, Former Minister
for Religious Affairs
There has to be room for improvement in
the Hudood Ordinance from the very first
day. And many people have supported this
point of view. I will give you my example.
In 1984, I have said this on several platforms
that the Hudood Ordinance can be looked
at anew. Al its flaws or gaps be removed
and plugged. I was a member of the Islamic
Ideology Council between 1990-9. In that
period, we started the exercise of reviewing
the Ordinance and many recommendations were
made. But these were not implemented.
Justice (retd) Dr. Rasheed Ahmed
Jalandhari, Former Justice Federal Shairiat
I myself told late Ziaul Haq that there
were 1500 women locked up due to this ordinance.
The women admitted that they had been raped
but the perpetrators of the crime were never
arrested. When they gave birth to illegitimate
children, this was proved.
* Fauzia Wahab says that this ordinance
should be completely discarded while Professor
Ibrahim insists on changes. What is your
Wasay Zafar: Pick up any ordinance related
to women from all over the globe and you
will se that there is a punishment for rape
too. This law has been there for 100 years
but the words have been rephrased and this
has been implemented.
Fauzia Wahab: But this law does not speak
about rape, in fact all its focuses is on
Wasay Zafar: Rape is the translation for
Zina-bil-Jibr and we should not abhor it.
There should be a law that deals with rape
and kidnappings, There are seven laws in
* So intend on scrapping the entire
Fauzia Wahab: Out of the 58 Islamic countries,
this aw has been
implemented on us for reasons purely political.
Thanks to this, Islam
and Pakistan is presented in a negative
light. What’s the use of having an
ordinance like this?
* Will you support the government in order
to repeal this law?
Fauzia Wahab: We support each and every
law that leads to freedom and democracy
in the country.
Professor Ibrahim: I do agree with the law
minister but what needs to
be checked is what they intend to do practically.
If it is something
related to Quran and Sunnah, we will support
it. In Article 270 and
271 of the constitution, the meaning of
providing safety is not this. It’s
a simple law and can be changed with the
approval of the Parliament. To say that
those who created the Hudood laws are embarrassed
is a wrong statement. The law is right but
its implementation is not. The Muslim Family
Law Ordinance, created by Ayub Khan, is
against the spirit of Quran and Sunnah.
* A clause in the HO asks a rape
victim to present four male witnesses. If
a victim does not have witnesses, where
does she stand?
Professor Ibrahim: This is wrong, unjustified
and if the government wants to repeal this,
we will lend support. There is a discrimination
in this law that needs to be corrected.
There can be a doubt if the woman is accusing
a man who has actually committed the crime
Wasay Zafar: The question is that of Zina.
In Zina-bil-Jibr, a woman’s testimony
and her medical report are enough proof
but if someone accuses respectable citizens
of adultery, then four witnesses are needed.
* To change the law, is 2/3 majority
in the Parliament required or simply a majority?
Wasi Zafar: If the law has to be repealed,
then 2/3 majority is not needed. Article
270 gives it immunity but it does not stop
a change in it. There are some things that
lead to confusion but once a law is established,
a lot of problems will be solved. We have
already sent in a draft that states the
changes that are needed.
* When will the draft be presented in the
Wasi Zafar: Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, our
leader, would know about this. This is an
issue that relate to the Interior Ministry.
We have created the changes though we did
take notes from the Interior Ministry.
* What are the changes needed in
the Hudood Ordinance?
Professor Ibrahim: I have to go through
the ordinance as well as consult my fellows
After due thought, the law can be changed
into a common one, but there can be no change
in the terms stated in Quran and Sunnah.
* Are you in favour of Ijtihaad?
Professor Ibrahim: We are definitely in
favour of Ijtihaad. We can even do it now.
Fauzia Wahab: When was the last time we
had Ijtihaad? Since the 11th century, there
has been no Ijtihaad as the Maulanas are
not willing to improvise.
* Is Ijtihaad still feasible?
Professor Ibrahim: Absolutely!
Even Allama Iqbal said that when ever a
scholar would step forward an improve a
law, he would be doing a great service to
Wasay Zafar: If a person uses Ijtiaahd for
his personal gains, than that is deplorable.
There have been various instances where
consensus from the Ulema was sought on issues
and a workable solution was reached.
* The debate on Hudood Ordinance
sure is an indicator that hopefully the
Parliament will work out a feasible solution.
As Wasi Zafar, the Minster of Law says that
the Hudood Ordinace can be repealed by having
the majority of votes while even the leader
of Muhtidda Majlis-e- Amal is open to the
ideaof having suitable changes in ordinances.
Hopefully, in the times to come, there would
be mutual consensus between the government
and opposition and a positive way out can