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Pakistan rejects bill seeking to raise minimum age for marriage for girls, terms it 'un-Islamic'

Islamabad: Pakistani lawmakers have unanimously rejected a bill aimed at increasing the minimum age for marriage of a girl from 16 to 18 years, terming the proposed amendment as "un-Islamic".

Photo for representation purpose only. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The National Assembly's Standing Committee on Religious Affairs met on Thursday, and discussed the The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2016 moved by lawmakers Kishwer Zehra.

The proposed amendment to increase the age was not only opposed by the Muslim lawmakers but also Hindu and Christian parliamentarians, The Express Tribune reported. The committee called the proposed amendment "un-Islamic". The committee members also discussed 'The National Commission for Minority Rights Act, 2015' at the request of lawmaker Lal Chand Malhi.

Christian lawmaker Tariq Christopher Qaiser recommended the number of commission members be increased to give representation to all the minorities. He also called for allowing the minorities to directly elect their representatives.

The committee also constituted a sub-committee to further discuss it.

The Pakistan Senate unanimously passed the landmark The Hindu Marriage Bill in 2017 bill to regulate marriages of minority Hindus in February.

The bill had already been approved by the lower house or the National Assembly in September 2015, and only needs the signature of the president, a mere formality, to become law.

The bill will help Hindu women get documentary proof of their marriage.

It will be the first personal law for Pakistani Hindus, applicable in Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. The Sindh province has already formulated its own Hindu Marriage Law.

Updated Date: May 05, 2017 14:31 PM

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