No legislation against divine commands as per Constitution: Ashrafi

ISLAMABAD, Sep 29 (APP): Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Thursday said no law could be enacted in Pakistan against the divine commands – the Holy Quran and Sunnah – as per the Constitution.

Ashrafi, who is also Chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council, told APP that being a sensitive issue, all the stakeholders should be taken board on the Transgender Rights Bill.

Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar, he said, had given his consent for setting up a committee to resolve the transgender bill issue amicably. It was a good gesture on the part of the government, he added, emphasizing on the inclusion of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) members and religious scholars from all schools of thought in the committee.

Ashrafi said the transgender community was one of the oppressed segments of the society, who should be given their due rights. However, no one should be allowed to exploit the matter for their vested interests. It was a sensitive issue and was a matter of “our religion, society, culture, youth and generations to come ahead”.

He said the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl was bringing a comprehensive bill with mutual understanding of the quarters concerned in the parliament, which would hopefully remove all the public apprehensions raised due to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018.

The CII, in a statement, had already proposed to the government to bring amendments in the existing Transgender Bill to protect the rights of genuine ‘intersex persons’.

The Council, in its meeting on Tuesday, observed that the government should set up a committee comprising the CII members, scholars, legal and medical experts to review the transgender bill so that a comprehensive legislation could be made.

The Council said several provisions in the current bill, as a whole were not compatible with Shariah principles and may cause new social problems.