In July 2005, the provincial Assembly, led by the MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a coalition of six Muslim parties) voted in favour of the bill of law, which establishes the position of muhtasib, a sort of Islamic watchdog that monitors observance of Islamic and Sharia values.
The following September, the Supreme Court annulled the draft law, describing it as "unconstitutional and discriminatory". On 13 November, the provincial Assembly approved amendments to the bill, adhering, according to the local government, to the directives of the court.
The Supreme Court said it will take up the case of the Hasba Bill again in the third week of January, when the NWFP government will be given a chance to defend the bill.
The ruling came after a petition from President Musharraf and Attorney General Makhdoom Ali Khan. The NWFP Information Minister accused Islambabad of being “undemocratic”.
Local analysts say the court ruling and protests by fundamentalists clearly highlight an ongoing struggle at Pakistani leadership levels between conservative and moderate forces.