The lawmakers of Pakistan, have unanimously rejected a bill, aimed at increasing the minimum age for girls from 16 to 18 years.
They have further termed the proposed amendment as “unIslamic”. Yesterday, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Religious Affairs met and discussed the “ The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2016” moved by lawmakers Kishwer Zehra. Not only did the Muslim lawmakers, oppose the proposed amendment to increase the age, but also was opposed by Hindu and Christian Parliamentarians, reported a leading news paper. On the request of the lawmaker, Lal Chand Malhi, the committee members also discussed “The National Commission for Minority Rights Act, 2015.”
Christian lawmaker Tariq Christopher Qaiser recommended the number of commission members should be increased, to give representation to all the minorities. The minorities should directly elect their representatives, said Qaiser. The committee also included a sub-committee to further discuss it.
In the 2017 bill, the Pakistan Senate unanimously passed the landmark “The Hindu Marriage Bill” to regulate marriages of minority Hindus in February. On September 26, 2015, the bill had already been approved by the lower house or the National Assembly, and now it just needs signature of the President, a mere formality, to become a law. Once the law is passed, Hindu women can 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.