Islamabad—A prominent Pakistani lawyer has filed a petition in the top Sharia court seeking that it strike down a new law that gives unprecedented protection to female victims of violence.
The Women’s Protection Act, passed by province of Punjab last week, gives legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence. It also calls for the creation of a toll-free abuse reporting hot line, women’s shelters and district-level panels to investigate reports of abuse and mandates the use of GPS bracelets to keep track of offenders.
Domestic abuse, economic discrimination and acid attacks made Pakistan the world’s third most dangerous country in the world for women, a 2011 Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll showed. But since the law’s passage in the Punjab assembly, many conservative clerics and religious leaders have denounced it as being in conflict with the Quran and the constitution. The latest opponent is Supreme Court lawyer and professor of Islamic law, Mohammad Aslam Khaki, who petitioned the Federal Shariat Court to strike down the law for being un-Islamic and not providing adequate protection for men.