Sindh MPA seeks to bring law, making it mandatory for parents to wed off children at 18

Published May 26, 2021
The draft of the proposed bill states that parents of an adult who is not being married after turning 18 will have to "submit an undertaking with justified reason of delay before the Deputy Commissioner of the District". — Photo by Faras Ghani/File
The draft of the proposed bill states that parents of an adult who is not being married after turning 18 will have to "submit an undertaking with justified reason of delay before the Deputy Commissioner of the District". — Photo by Faras Ghani/File

Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) MPA Syed Abdul Rasheed submitted a draft of "The Sindh Compulsory Marriage Act, 2021" to the Sindh Assembly Secretariat on Wednesday which seeks to make marriage compulsory for people aged 18 years.

The draft of the proposed bill, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, stated that the parents of an adult who is not being married off after turning 18 will have to "submit an undertaking with justified reason of delay before the Deputy Commissioner of the District".

Parents who fail to submit the undertaking would have to pay a fine of Rs500 each, it added.

"This will bring well-being in the society," the objects and reasons section of the draft states.

Rasheed expressed the hope that all Sindh Assembly members — from both the treasury and opposition benches — would help in approving the bill for the "progress, happiness and facilitation of positive pathways" for the youth of the province.

In a video statement released after the submission of the proposed bill, he said that "societal ills, child rapes, immoral activities and crime" were rising in the country.

"To control all of this ... according to the shariat of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Islamic teachings, Muslim males and females have been given the right to marry after attaining puberty or after 18 years of age and fulfilling this is the responsibility of their guardians, especially their parents."

He said that obstacles in the way of marriages such as unemployment and high costs were a "result of distancing from Islamic teachings". If we follow Islamic teachings, a lot of ease and blessings will descend upon the family, he added.

Listing the steps the government could take to make the process of marriage easier, he said there should be a ban on dowry and standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding marriage ceremonies should be added to the bill which he said would "end competition and lead to people adopting simplicity".

Addressing the "obstacle of unemployment", he said the problem was that "society's tendency towards competition had spoiled a lot of legal and correct ways".

"I believe that after 18 years of age, if there is a reason [for not marrying], parents should submit an affidavit along with a commitment of the time the person would be married off," he added.

Opinion

Big win, bigger challenges
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Big win, bigger challenges

Pakistan should be smug. It is not. There are a number of likely scenarios that must be the source of its unease.
Power of stays
19 Sep 2021

Power of stays

Great power means no one dare ask you questions.
Local decay
18 Sep 2021

Local decay

The set-up in Sindh exercises total control over LG functions.

Editorial

Talking to the Taliban
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Talking to the Taliban

PRIME Minister Imran Khan has announced that he has started a dialogue with the Taliban for the formation of a...
New Zealand’s departure
Updated 19 Sep 2021

New Zealand’s departure

THERE was chaos and despair when New Zealand decided to call off their tour of Pakistan barely minutes before the...
19 Sep 2021

Crucial polio campaign

THE national vaccination campaign that kicked off in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday is being described by experts as...
Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...