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The National Assembly (NA) sent a bill, tabled by Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), called Apostasy Act 2006 to the standing committee concerned for consideration. The bill proposed sentencing to death male apostates and imprisonment till penitence or death for female apostates. The government did not oppose the bill and sent it to the standing committee concerned. If passed, the bill will over-ride all other laws in force at present. Among those who signed the proposed Bill are Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, Mr. Liaquat Bloch, Maulana Abdul Malik, Dr Farid Ahmed Piracha, Maulana A Ghafoor Haidri, Hafiz Hussain Ahmad, Mr. Asadullah Bhutto, Mrs. Samia Raheel Qazi, etc; all members of the National Assembly.
According to the press report, the treasury benches had little to say on this fateful bill; they compliantly sent it to the Standing Committee for consideration. On the other hand, they rejected another bill that sought an amendment to the controversial Blasphemy law, and Minister Sher Afgan said, “M.P. Bhandara should not have presented this amendment. Pakistan is an Islamic republic; we cannot tolerate anything on the sensitive issue of defiling the Prophethood.”
The text of the bill is reproduced below.
[TO BE INTRODUCED IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY]
to make a law for the Apostasy
WHEREAS it is expedient to make a law for the Apostasy and for the purposes hereinafter appearing;
It is hereby enacted as follows:-
1.Short title, extent and Commencement:-(1) This Act may be called the Apostasy Act, 2006.
2.Definitions:- In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context:-
3.The condition of commission of apostasy:- It is necessary for the commissioning of the offence of apostasy that the offender of it be:-
4.Proof of apostasy:- The offence of apostasy shall be proved in any one way of following:-
5.Asking Penitence from apostate:- (1) When under the requirement of section 4, the proof of offence of apostasy is made available, the court shall ask the apostate to make penitence from apostasy; If the accused does not immediately make penitence, the court shall give him a period of threodays or suchperiod as the court may deem fit for considering and thinking over it but this period shallinot exceed one month. During this period, the accused shall be put in prison and shall be asked to make a return to Islam in accordance with rules.
(2) If the apostate tenders penitence immediately after getting penitence offer or within the prescribed period under sub-section (1), his penitence shall be accepted and he shall be exonerated but if he shows insistence on his apostasy while rejecting the penitence offer, he shall be punished under section (7).
6.The repetition of offence of apostasy:- If any person after making penitence for the first offence of apostasy and one account of it getting pardon commits again the offence of apostasy, the provisions of section (5) with due modifications shall be applied to him.
Provided that any person who commits the offence of apostasy for the second time or third time, he shall be punished with rigorous or simple punishment which may extend to two years. Provided further that if any person who commits the offence of apostasy for the fourth time, he shall be punishable to the sentence prescribed in section (7).
7.Punishment for apostasy:- (1) If a male person makes the commission of apostasy offence, he shall be awarded death sentence.
(2)If the female person makes the commission of apostasy offence, she shall be put in prison till she tenders her penitence.
8.The property of the apostate:- (1) On proposing legal action against any apostate on the ground Of apostasy, the court Shall suspend all his rights over his property including his right of possession.
9.The right of guardianship of the children of apostate and of the custody of their property:- The right of the apostate relating to the matter of guardianship over minor children and property or right of Hizanat of the female apostate shall remain suspended till the death or penitence of the male apostate or female apostate and the court shall exercise the power to appoint a guardian for the guardianship for minor children of male apostate or female apostate and of their property and who shall be responsible for the management and arrangement of the property of minor or minors and in case of tendering penitence or getting acquittal from the court, the rights of the apostate shall stand restored.
Provided that a breast feeding infant shall be allowed to remain in the Hizanat of the female apostate.
10Iddat:- The commencement of iddat shall start from that date on which the apostasy offence of the apostate is finally proved.
11.Act to over-ride all other laws:- The provisions of this Act shall over ride all other laws for the time being in force.
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
Whereas that the supreme authority vests in almighty Allah. The injunctions revealed by Him which are enshrined in the Holy Quran and Sunnah have been practically enforced by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) during his life. These injunctions of the Supreme Sovereign arc still in force. The powers for the suspension of these injunctions are not vested with anybody except Allah. The injunctions of the Holy Quran and Sunnah which are not being practically in force tantamount to that those who have put these ones in abeyance and are violators or sinners. Therefore it is obligatory on the House to revive these injunctions of the Holy Quran and Sunnah through legislation which arc in abeyance and save itself from any sort of offence of violation or sin.
(2) The one injunction of the injunctions awards death sentence to an apostate and the detail of this is given in this Bill. The saying of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) is that he who leaves Islam and converts into another must be killed. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) himself enforced it and this law remained in force during Khilafat-e-Rashida and remained intact till British imperialism. The imperialists abrogated it during their rule. Now, when Pakistan came into being in the name of Islam, there is no justification of keeping in force this decision of imperialism. It is also protect required to the state religion of Pakistan and the Muslim faith. Therefore, it is, imperative to introduce this bill in the House to achieve the above said objectives and enforce it immediately after its approval.