The Council of Islamic Ideology has been criticised for releasing a draft of the women’s protection bill in which it allows a husband to “lightly beat” his wife.

The body released the draft on May 27 in response to the legislation in Punjab which bestowed greater rights on women and ensured their protection.

According to local reports, the draft recommends: “A husband should be allowed to lightly beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods.”

The draft has been slammed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan as “ridiculous”, and the commission has demanded the council of “zealots” be disbanded.