Ever since the start of the parleys by the ‘Muzakrati Committee’ constituted by the Prime Minister, Taliban have come up with certain preconditions for any fruitful talks. Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid is in the fore front with his demand for the imposition of Shariah in Pakistan as according to him the Constitution of Pakistan is not Islamic. His main argument against it is that justice is not meted out to the common man under the Anglo-Saxon laws and that the Qazi courts would ensure speedy justice. The Maulana is right to some extent but it is not the law that is to be blamed for the long drawn litigations. It is its modus operandi and the delaying tactics adopted by the lawyers and the witnesses that delay the justice and this is what needs to be improved to obtain the desired results. Imposition of Shariah will have its own implications, the first and the foremost being which Shariah and of which Fiqah?

Just to cite an ordinary example cutting of the hand of a thief. Which hand ? Left or right ? From what place?, Wrist or the fingers? Will the thumb also be chopped off or not? Different Fiqah’s have different answers for it. Next, can rape be proved under the Islamic law unless committed openly in a market? In the event of a woman lodging a complaint for having been raped and later not being able to produce four male and Saleh eye witnesses to the act, would stand condemned for having committed adultery and stoned to death for having made the confession herself!! Would the modern forensic evidence and inferences – the DNA and other laboratory tests etc. be admissible under the Shariah?

In reply to such matter-of-fact arguments it is normally said that just give the Shariah a chance and wait and see. Our this tendency to “wait and see” turns us into silent spectators and when the worse happens we bemoan it in the wisdom of the hindsight. Why can’t we foresee and perceive the enormity of the coming catastrophes and take steps to thwart them before they over take us? The case in point is our inadvertently being sucked into ultimate imposition of the Taliban brand of Shariah by holding negotiations with the extremists. Why can’t we say an emphatic ‘NO’ to it right now and stop negotiating this issue any further? Imagine, negotiating (discussing) Shariah and religion and that too with the ignorant, uninformed and rigid clerics with shallow and superficial knowledge of Islam!

COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD),

Rawalpindi, February 12.