Pakistan court rejects provincial bill

Pakistan's Supreme Court has declared as unconstitutional a bill passed by a province to introduce what critics describe as a moral policing system.

    General Pervez Musharraf (L) filed a petition against the bill

    "The governor of the province of North West Frontier Province may not assent to the Hisba (accountability) bill in its present form," the Supreme Court said in its order.

    The province's assembly, which is dominated by a coalition of Muslim parties, on 14 July approved the bill that called for establishment of a department to ensure adherence to "Islamic values at public places".

    A provincial bill must be approved by the provincial governor, who is appointed by Islamabad, before it can become law.

    The nine-member court bench noted that many of the provisions in the bill violate the country's 1973 constitution.

    The court had sat for four days to hear a challenge by the federal government against the legislation.

    The issue was referred to the Supreme Court by President Pervez Musharraf.

    Reasons to be given later

    The bench said it would give reasons for its decision later and explain which parts of the provincial legislation are against the constitution.

    "We will introduce the bill again with some amendments," Malik Zafar Azam, the province's law minister, told reporters in the Supreme Court after its ruling.

    The six-party Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal or United Action Forum won parliamentary elections in 2002 in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From Zimbabwe to England: A story of war, home and identity

    The country I saw as home, my parents saw as oppressors

    What happens when you reject the identity your parents fought for and embrace that of those they fought against?

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    One woman shares the story of her life with polycystic kidney disease and sees parallels with the plight of the planet.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.