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Law in disorder.

A court in Pakistan's deeply conservative North West Frontier Province has sentenced a man to 80 lashes for slandering his sister-in-law.

Nazir Ahmad had accused her of having an affair and giving birth to an illegitimate child, disgracing his family.

But Judge Tariq Yousafzai said he had no proof for the 'baseless' allegations.

He ordered Ahmad to receive the punishment in a public square in Peshawar, the provincial capital, in keeping with Islamic law.

A coalition of hard-line Islamic groups swept to power in the region, on the border with Afghanistan, in elections in October.

On Monday, they passed legislation instituting Shariah, or Islamic law, in the province, though it still must be signed by the governor to take effect.

Yousafzai did not set a date for the punishment to be carried out. In the past, such rulings have been overturned by the Supreme Court.

Even under Shariah, the provincial government does not have the right to impose punishments that are contrary to national laws.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 7, 2003
Words:165
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