Pakistan's Islamist alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) has denounced President Pervez Musharraf and staged a rally in Rawalpindi protesting the passage of the Women's Protection Bill by the National Assembly last week.
The alliance said it was protesting to "protect the dignity of women", which was "under threat" with the passage of the Women's Protection Bill that has put rape related cases outside the religious domain and made it an offence under the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), the Daily Times said.
The government has contended that the alliance was consulted at every stage of the drafting and the consideration of the bill.
However, the MMA walked out of the National Assembly when it was put to vote.
Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami and leader of MMA, the alliance that shares power in Balochistan and North West Frontier Province (NWFP), contended that the government had failed to muster the support of even a single religious scholar for the bill.
"Now we will not hold talks with anyone in the government on the issue of the bill," he said.
He said the alliance members had 'quit' the National Assembly and will attend the next session only to submit its resignations to the Speaker.