The daughter of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari has condemned the law unanimously approved by the Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs under which fine for the hotel owners – violating the Ehtram-e-Ramazan Ordinance, 1981 – has been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 25,000. She wrote in her tweet message “People are going to die from heat stroke and dehydration with this ridiculous law. Not everyone is able. This is not Islam”. With all due respect, I think she should know that law as a system helps regulate and ensure that a community shows respect, and equality amongst themselves. Religious law is clearly based on religious principles. Examples include the Jewish Halakha and Islamic Sharia—both of which translate as the “path to follow”, while Christian canon law also survives in some church communities. In modern times, the legal systems of many Muslim countries draw upon both civil and common law traditions as well as Islamic law and custom. The constitutions of certain Muslim states, such as Egypt and Afghanistan, recognise Islam as the religion of the state, obliging legislature to adhere to Sharia. Saudi Arabia recognises Quran as its constitution, and is governed on the basis of Islamic law. Iran has also witnessed a reiteration of Islamic law into its legal system. Bakhtawar lives in UAE where an identical form of rule is prevailing. 

Fasting is not necessary for those who are not able, due to threat of heat stroke and dehydration. Travelers, pregnant women, sick, very old and very young are exempted from fasting in Islam. The 1973 constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan was drafted by the government of Bakhtawar’s grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Many key ideas regarding the role of Islam in the State were made part of the constitution and Islam is declared as the state religion of Pakistan. What would she say about those laws? 


Faisalabad, May 13.