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Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Hudood Ordinance: Zara Souchiye

The Hudood Ordinance was one in a series of five separate laws promulgated by the martial law government of erstwhile dictator Gen. Zi(n)a ul Haque in 1979, in Pakistan, to impose his distorted Islam-view on a hapless nation. The full name of this ordinance is The Offence of Zina (Enforcement Of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979.

The language of the law is such that the onus of proving a rape lies with the woman rape victim. She is saddled with the task of producing four 'pious' Muslim male witnesses to the rape. (Digression: forget your religion, just tell me how many times you have been in a foursome and have witnessed a rape in progress?).

Imagine the oppressive nature of this undertaking for a rape victim who is already suffering trauma. It is no wonder 80 percent of the women (according to some estimates) languishing in Pakistani jails are victims of this law.

This law makes it easy for the perpetrator to claim consensual sex with the victim and escape the harsher punishment.

The civilian governments of former Prime Ministers Nawaz Shareeef and Benazir Bhutto set up two Commissions to 'investigate' the excesses of Zi(n)a's Hudood Ordinance. Both Commissions recommended disbanding it. Neither government carried through the recommendations.

In late 2001, while en route to Karachi, Geo TV CEO Mir Ibrahim Rahman wrote a memorandum to himself delineating the reasons he left his investment banking job at Goldman Sachs, and also what he hoped to achieve in Pakistan.

Mir Ibrahim's grandfather Mir Khalil ur Rahman and father Mir Shakil ur Rahman founded the Jang Group of newspapers and are well known media moguls in Pakistan. In a sense it was ordained that the grandson join the family empire. At 28, Mir Ibrahim is one of the youngest CEOs to head a major TV channel anywhere.

Geo was launched on August 14, 2002. On every anniversary, Mir Ibrahim measures the progress he has made against the memo he wrote on board that plane. One of the goals Mir Ibrahim outlined in that memo addressed the issue of bringing the Hudood Ordinance in to the public arena for debate. With the launch of Zara Souchiye ('Think' in Urdu), Geo TV is launching a nationwide campaign to initiate a dialogue over the Hudood Ordinance.

GEO has developed this entire initiative in house without any pressure or influence from any other agency. No support has been taken from the Government of Pakistan, non-governmental organizations, any political party or any other local or foreign agency or government. The initiative has been researched, designed, developed and implemented thoroughly by GEO's own research and production team. The members of this team are full-time employees of the channel without any association to any social or political organization, but rather, with a conscience of Geo Aur Geenay Do ('Live and Let Live').

Zara Souchiye appears as a well planned and executed nation-wide campaign designed to develop a consensus without antagonizing the entrenched 'religious stakeholders' and their orthodox and conservative supporters. Mir Ibrahim told me:
Conservatives didn't feel as threatened by GEO's approach of not involving any NGOs and even conspicuously any women in the entire campaign, and only seeking opinion from scholars themselves from each school of thought. The campaign slogan in fact is ''No Debate on Hadood-Allah! Is the Hadood Ordinance Islamic?'' Which basically makes a clear distinction between Had laws mentioned in the Koran (which aren't debatable and thus not challenged) and the interpretation that man has done in the Ordinance (can be challenged and measured against Islam).

As a first step Geo interviewed 26 'diverse and senior' religious scholars and asked them, The Hudood laws are presented as divine laws, which cannot be touched. Do you agree?

The "response from all 26 religious stakeholders agreed that the law was not only man-made but is open to change and improvements."

Geo has 'opened up the floor for debate,' and its most popular programs such as Pachas Minute, Alif, Jawabdeh and Capital Talk will be focussing on the Hudood Ordinance in the coming season.

By facilitating open and public dialogue of a politicized-religious issue Geo is providing a valuable service to the Muslims of Pakistan in general, and the affected women in particular. The Geo campaign Zara Souchiye hopes to deliver what eluded the inept and corrupt civilian governments of Nawaz-Shareef and Benazir-Bhutto, a shortcoming also shared by the present Aziz Administration. Good luck to Mr. Rahman and Geo. Geo--Long Live Geo).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you might find this interesting:

the sister :)

July 10, 2006 6:29 AM  
Blogger Kmindopath said...

Aug 4, 2006 / NYT 13.00 HOURS
GEO TV CEO MIR of Zara Souchiye (Just Think) fame’s mission is Noble and Global.
May God help MIR help Pakistan become the first nation to practice God’s flawless laws, outlaw its 1979 lawless Pakistan Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance protecting rapists as ancient misleaders’ misinterpretation of flawless laws, instead start protecting women and children from rapists, and help the world compete and imitate Pakistan that outlawed heresy?
“Neither Parliament nor anyone else has the authority to remove or change laws of God" that, unless misinterpreted by misleaders, ban rape, adultery, prostitution, etc. as obvious trafficking in women who are the obvious genesis of children for men impregnating women. Flawless Creator’s Creation of each and every genetically-identified family-until-death is the obvious Genesis of Kmindology (say Mindology or Knowledge of Mind) for the dutybound practice of Kmindopathy (say Mindopathy), a trade mark of KuttingEdge KommonSense, Inc. (KEKSI) practising Kmindopathy.
God’s genetically-identified family-until-death flawless laws are blasphemed by Man’s socially-identified marriage-until-divorce lawless laws that defile genetically-identified fathers, mothers, and their babies of genetically-identified families-until-death, dishonor mothers as prostitutes and babies as bastards, and thus honor fathers committing heresy violating the ban.
During the Nov 2, 1989 Legal Arguments in the landmark case of DeShaney v. Winnebago County, reported at 489 US 189, Hon. Chief Justice Rehnquist reminded the US Supreme Court to remember that “if two policemen see a rape [violation of women] and watch it just for their own amusement, [it is] no violation of the constitution [nor of Genesis so that lawmen enjoying rape-in-progress by rapists--just like adulterists and prostitutionists--taking pleasure in giving pain to resulting mothers they impregnated and their babies enduring torture] … (laughter).”
Let MIR reverse and correct the incorrect course of human history.

August 04, 2006 2:15 PM  

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