Pakistan

Prejudice Against Shiite Pilgrims: LHC Heard ‘Mehrim Case’

Lahore High Court (LHC) directed Minister of Religious Affairs to allow shia women to go for Hajj Pilgrimage without their mehrim.

Lahore High court heard a case where shia women pleaded prejudice against the state impediment from Hajj Pilgrimage due to mehrim issue.

Justice Ayesha A Malik intervention came forth when prosecution asked for more time to put forth a proposal after discussing it with Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) regarding the mehrim issue.

During a previous hearing, the state prosecution claimed CII was never consulted in the case earlier, but the parliamentary committee proposed to go by this rule of mehrim. There is no mention of CII in this case, the prosecutor claimed.

The judge asked for the name of members of CII who proposed to bar women from Hajj Pilgrimage without mehrim.

The defence lawyer Barrister M Zehra Bukhari argued the case protesting that proposals by CII cannot be implemented unless a law is passed by the governing body on them. In the reference case this particular mehrim proposal came only in 2016 but implemented in the previous years’ Hajj program. She added that other Shia members of the CII have objected to this particular demand and the bill wasn’t passed.

She exclaimed that the Ministry of Religious Affairs is intentionally discriminated Shiite women not allowing them to travel for pilgrimage without mehrim, which not only is illegal but against all values of Islam. She demanded that the ministry be reprimanded and shia women be allowed to travel for Hajj Pilgrimage without this stipulation of mehrim.

Later, the case was set to be heard on Oct 14 this year.

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