Child marriage

Recently, the Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Oct 11 rejected ‘The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2017’ and termed it as un-Islamic. The chairman of the committee Rehman Malik announced that he had discussed with the religious scholars that girls could be married before they are 18 according to Islamic law and such kinds of bill could not be passed. Undoubtedly, Pakistan is a country where child marriage is most prevalent, particularly involving young female brides. It’s estimated that some 20 percent of girls in the country are married before they turn 18. These girls drop out of school, face fatal health complications from early pregnancy and childbearing, and are exposed to STIs including HIV.
Pakistan is deemed as one of the graves of child brides and considering the bill un-Islamic raises many questions. Undoubtedly, Islam is a religion, which teaches balance in daily life and if that Islam says to educate everybody then, which Islam tells us to marry the underage children? If it is allowed then voting which is compulsory for everyone in our country aged 21, then those between the age of 12 or 16 should be granted the right to vote and CNICs should be issued to them. Unfortunately, forcing a young girl to skip her beautiful childhood or girlhood to become an adult mother is a crime itself. I suppose the best way is to pass a law that ensures issuance of birth certificates to all and checking them at the time of marriage. And this law must have zero tolerance against this practice and strict punishments for all those who attended the wedding and the mullah who performed Nikah.
ZEESHAN NASIR
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