Hasba Bill will ‘Talibanise’ society: PPP
ISLAMABAD: The Hasba Bill, which will be initiated in the NWFP Assembly today (Monday) by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal government, is against the Constitution, violates the fundamental human rights of citizens, is a recipe for polarising society; and a blatant attempt to ‘Talibanise’ NWFP that will push the people back into the dark ages, said Senator Farhatullah Babar, Pakistan People’s Party spokesman, on Sunday. He said that the PPP condemned the bill and urged the human rights bodies and the civil society to thwart this attempt to rob them of their rights guaranteed in the Constitution. He said the bill allowed the provincial government to set up a chain of offices of religious ombudsmen at the provincial, district and tehsil levels and “raise a brigade of new Hisba police” in the name of ‘propagation of virtue and preventing the vice’ (Amr bil maroof wa nahin anil munkar).
He said the bill was aimed to give judicial jobs in grades 18 to 20 to madrassa graduates and to fool the people in the name of the local body polls.
The PPP spokesman warned against ‘Talibanising’ Pakistani society and regulating the private lives of people in the name of enforcing an ‘Islamic value system’. “Spending of hundreds of millions on these new institutions amounts to imposing medieval non sense,” he said.
He said laws already existed to deal with the problems listed in the bill and sincerity demanded that the existing laws were implemented rather than making new ones.
He said it was atrocious that the mohtasib had been given powers under Section 10 (c) to regulate the media and promote what the “Pakistani Taliban” regard as ‘Islamic values’.
The senator said that the religious parties in collusion with undemocratic forces had undermined parliament by endorsing the 17th Amendment to the Constitution and now, launched another assault on parliament through the Hasba Bill.
Last September, he said the Council of Islamic Ideology had declared that the Hasba Bill was in contradiction to the Constitution and “will not achieve the purposes of Shariah and instead raise controversies over the teachings of Quran and Sunnah”.
“The phrase ‘amr bil maroof and nahin anil munkar’ brings to mind the Taliban era in Afghanistan and the shaving of heads of Pakistani football players in Qandahar for wearing shorts,” he said.