August 4, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is going to sign a key international document against child abduction; however, the country’s top Islamic advisory body has declared that some of its clauses are in conflict with the Constitution of Pakistan and Islam.
The government is going to ratify The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, which was adopted in 1980. The convention is a multilateral treaty that addresses parental child abduction by facilitating cooperation between central authorities of the signatory countries to expedite the return of the child to the country of their habitual residence.
The federal law ministry has been working for a year to pave way for Pakistan to sign the convention and consultations have been started with stakeholders, sources in the Council of Islamic Ideology told The Express Tribune on Wednesday.
In March this year, the law ministry sent a draft to the CII for its input, sources said. However, on Tuesday, when the CII took up the matter, it was found that some of the clauses of The Hague convention are against the Constitution of Pakistan and Islam.
The body, which makes non-binding recommendations on compatibility of laws with Islamic Sharia, noted that the government should avoid signing such document, said a source privy to the in-camera meeting.
The CII’s meeting, which continued on the second day for eight hours, noted that Article 20 of the convention is against the Constitution of Pakistan and Islam. Article 20 says the return of the abducted children may be refused if this is not permitted by the fundamental principles – relating to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms – of the requested state.
“Such kinds of clauses could not be acceptable for Islamic society; therefore, the government should avoid signing the document,” said a CII member while requesting anonymity. He insisted the government was bound to follow and protect its own Constitution.
According to sources, out of total 45 clauses of The Hague convention, 21 have been discussed by the council, while the remaining will be taken up today (Thursday), when CII Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani will brief the media about the council’s decision.
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