Islamabad: The practice of triple talaq or instant divorce — referred to in Shari’ah at talaq-e-biddat — should be deemed a punishable crime in Pakistan, a media report on Friday quoted the constitutional body that provides legal advice to the government on Islamic matters as recommending.
This development comes a month after India made the practice of instant divorce among Muslims a punishable offence. The new law makes talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband void and illegal.
The new law makes it illegal to pronounce talaq three times in spoken, written or through SMS or WhatsApp or any other electronic chat in one sitting.
According to The Express Tribune, Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has recommended that the act of triple talaq should be deemed a punishable crime in the Islamic nation. It quoted Law Minister Farogh Naseem as saying that there was a precedent in Islamic history of such an act being punished by the state. He said the second caliph of Islam, Hazrat Umar (ʻUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, 584–644 AD), had punished those who performed the act of instant divorce. “Therefore, the National Assembly (NA), the lower house of Parliament, can make laws to make this action a punishable crime,” he said.
Endorsing the law minister, CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said triple talaq should be made punishable in the country.
When inquired about the punishment, Ayaz said that the CII had not determined that as yet. “If the ministry of law agrees to our suggestion to make it a punishable offence, the punishment can also be determined,” he said.
The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice deferred the discussion on the bill about divorce as well as that on inheritance till the next meeting, the report said.