Rifaqatullah Razarwal

Station House Officer (SHO) of Shapur police station of Peshawar has banned music in weddings and directed locals to follow Sharia.

The official has also warned the locals of legal consequences for failing to implement the directives.

On the other hand, human rights activists, civil society and lawyers have declared the directions as violation of human rights, Constitution of Pakistan and police rules. They have also demanded departmental action against the officer for illegal directions.

SHO Shapur, Abdul Ali Khan confirmed to TNN issuing directives regarding taking action those engaging in activities in violation of Sharia and playing music in weddings and other functions.

Mr Khan said that he had clearly conveyed to local forbidding music in wedding functions and stopping them from inviting transgender and dancers to wedding functions.

“These things were in violation of Sharia and a Muslim cannot deny this,” he said.

Besides, he said that the area’s residents were happy with this decision. He said that making transgender and dancers to dance was destroying youths also leading to increase in murders as well ice drug addiction.

On the other hand, human rights activists and lawyers criticized the SHO’s direction said that these steps were in violation of constitution and police rules.

Shabbir Hussain Gigyani, a Supreme Court lawyer said that the police officials worked under the constitution and bound to implement laws made by the parliament in his jurisdiction. “Even Sharia also taught this,” he said.

Besides, he said that all Pakistan laws were in accordance to Sharia; however, the SHO has violated human rights and misused his powers by using issuing these illegal orders.

He said that police personnel misusing their powers could be proceeded against under KP Police Act 2017 and Police Rules 1934.

On the other hand, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also stated such arbitrary decisions carried no legal status. Besides it said that any action which imposed curbs on human rights and individual freedoms was unconstitutional and police high up should take notice of this.

Akbar Khan, HRCP co-chair told TNN that police personnel were duty bound to implement laws of the land. However, he said that police high ups mistakenly considered such directions as individual views and often suspended them.

However, he demanded that action should be taken over such illegal steps and such officers should not be appointed on responsible positions.

It is worth mentioning here that earlier last year Bajaur district elders had banned women from visiting Bazaars. Similarly, in Khanmai area of Charsadda district, police had banned hair dressers from shaving beards.

However, both decisions were reversed following government took action on them.

Analysts believe that Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was also impacting Pakistani public as well as government officials and this trend could have negative consequences.

Syed Raza Shah, a senior journalist questioned that whether there was any rule of left in Pakistan or anyone can setup their own courts.

Besides, he said that such decisions negatively affect entire society. “Tomorrow this SHO can murder someone and say that the slain had done something which he disliked,” he said.

He said that all the individuals in a society had their own opinion of everything and law has the final word.

Besides, he said that these directions also showed that society in general and government machinery in particular have become affected from fundamentalism. Mr Shah said that such indoctrinated officers do not care about law and constitution which could create anarchy in a society.

He also said that it was not possible for someone to run affairs of state according to his whims and empowering such persons was harmful for society.

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