LAHORE - The Nation Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), in its statement on Monday, has expressed concern over the reported decision of appointing, what it called by HRCP a conservative cleric as head of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII). The HRCP stated that the reported decision to relieve the widely acclaimed scholar for rational interpretation of Islamic injunctions as chairman of CII and replace him with an office bearer of a religious political party will cause widespread concerns among the democratic sections of the people. Even though the status of the CII is now that of an advisory body after it has been superseded by Federal Shariat Court, the Council decisions still carry a certain influence with devout Muslims, HRCP observed, adding HRCP is seriously concerned that such nominations would strengthen forces of obscurantism. It was suggested by HRCP that CII positions should not be given away as reward of political services of dubious values. Meanwhile, Dr Mehdi Hassan has been elected as Chairperson of HRCP following Ms Asma Jahangirs resignation. He will serve in this position till the new chairperson is elected in spring of 2010. Saleema Hashmi elected as Vice-chairperson of the HRCPs Punjab Chapter.