Pakistan

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Condemns Iddat Case Verdict

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has expressed his displeasure with the court verdict that sentenced former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi to seven years in prison for violating the Islamic rules of Iddat in their marriage.

In an interview with a private news channel, Bilawal said that he found it difficult to support the outcome of the Iddat case, as it could have negative implications for the efforts made in the past to safeguard women’s rights in the country.

He said that the verdict was a new low in Pakistani politics, and he blamed Imran for being the cause of it. He said that Imran had brought the national politics to such a level that personal matters like Iddat were being discussed in the courts.

He said that Imran had no regard for the dignity and privacy of women, and he had exposed his wife to public scrutiny and humiliation. He said that Imran had also violated the sanctity of marriage and the Islamic law by marrying Bushra without observing the mandatory waiting period after her divorce from her first husband.

He voiced his commitment to the empowerment and rights of women. He highlighted the party’s historical stance against the Zina Ordinance of the 1980s, which posed a threat to women by criminalizing consensual relations and opening the door for false accusations. Furthermore, he pointed out the party’s support for the Women Protection Act of 2006, a significant amendment to protect women from legal misuse and abuse.

Bilawal expressed concern over the precedent set by the Iddat case verdict. He believes it allows for an alarming level of state intrusion into citizens’ private lives and weakens legal protections for women. The verdict, according to Bilawal, has also cast a shadow over the judiciary’s independence and impartiality, raising questions about the influence of political pressure and interference in judicial processes.

Despite disagreeing with Imran Khan’s political ideologies and policies, the PPP respects his right to a fair trial and a dignified personal life. Bilawal stated that the party plans to challenge the verdict in higher courts, seeking justice for both Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi.

Bilawal also emphasized the party's focus on addressing key national issues such as the economic crisis, Covid-19 pandemic, inflation, unemployment, poverty, corruption, security, and foreign relations. He confirmed the party's readiness to participate in the upcoming general elections on February 8, with hopes for a free, fair, and transparent process.

The PPP, according to Bilawal, has a comprehensive plan to rejuvenate the economy, alleviate people's hardships, enhance health and education sectors, fortify democracy and institutions, uphold human rights and rule of law, and restore Pakistan's global respect and prestige.

Bilawal affirmed the PPP's legacy, tracing back to leaders like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, and its commitment to positive change and a brighter future for Pakistan. He urged citizens to support the PPP in the upcoming elections, highlighting its track record over parties that have failed to fulfill their promises and compromised national interests and values.

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