KARACHI: Rejecting the recent ‘anti-women’ recommendations of the Council of Islamic Ideology regarding no minimum age requirement for marriage, against DNA test in rape cases, etc, the Sindh Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on Monday asking the federal government to do away with the CII, as it was damaging the country.
Several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle signed the resolution, which was read out by Pakistan Muslim League-Functional legislator Mahtab Akbar Rashdi.
The resolution reads: “This assembly resolves and recommends to Sindh government to approach the federal government to adopt the following resolution; This House shows its strong reservation on the recent recommendations of Council of Islamic Ideology showing complete indifference and insensitivity to the issue pertaining to women. Like, no minimal age for marriage, recommendation against DNA test for rape incidents and no need of taking the permission of the wife for second marriage.
“All such recommendations by the Council of Islamic Ideology head are regressing and anti-women. This house therefore strongly recommends that since this council is unable to perform a positive role, it should be done away with as it is causing more damage than Pakistan can afford.”
In their speeches, the leaders of parliamentary parties in the house — Nisar Ahmad Khuhro of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Syed Sardar Ahmed of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Irfanullah Marwat of the PML-N and Samar Ali Khan of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf —endorsed the resolution, which was adopted unanimously when put to vote.
They pointed out that marriage is a contract in which a couple had to give their consent before witnesses. And according to law a signatory to any contract ought to be of 18 years of age.
They emphasised that Islam did not permit child marriage. The DNA test helped scientifically pinpointing the culprit involved in a rape case, and wife’s permission for second marriage aimed at ensuring justice and harmony among the family, they added.
Mr Ahmed of the MQM pointed out that according to Article 228 of the Constitution the purpose of the CII was to make recommendations to the government. Therefore, the government ought to nominate only such members on the council who have understanding of the law, he added.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikander Mandhro congratulated the mover of the resolution.
The house also adopted two more resolutions.
PPP’s Sharmila Faruqui tabled a resolution that pertained to the 35th death anniversary of late prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The resolution condemned the judicial murder and paid tribute to his unparallel leadership that gave Pakistan a democratic constitution, hope, respect, dignity to marginalised labourers, farmers, protection to women, children and minorities and for initiating the country’s nuclear programme.
The other resolution was moved by Sumita Afzal Syed of the MQM through which the house unanimously condemned the armed attack on journalist Raza Rumi in Lahore.
Reaffirming its commitment towards freedom of expression and speech, the house recommended to the Sindh government to approach the federal government to ask the Punjab government to take serious action against the culprits behind this act of terrorism.
The house, which was called to order by Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani at 11.35am, after completion of the agenda, adjourned the sitting till April 7.
Earlier, Leader of the Opposition Syed Faisal Subzwari drew the attention of the chair towards increasing incidents of rape and killing of minor girls.
He said that it was also a collective responsibility of everyone to provide protection to street children. He said if needed laws should be made more effective.
Dr Mandhro endorsed the views and said that a bill was already tabled in the house and soon it would be passed after deliberation.
Taking up the issues raised through call-attention notices, Dr Mandhro responded to the notice of MQM’s Naila Munir about food shortage in Tharparker.
He informed the house that out of 225,947 drought-affected families, 225,896 were provided wheat from 18,963 bags of 100 kilograms, which was sufficient to meet the ration needs of one month. Rest of 18,000 families would be provided wheat within a week, he added. He said that the government had made arrangement to meet the needs of wheat of the affected families for three months.
In response to the notice of Dr Seema Zia of the PTI about beggars using infant children on city’s roads and streets on a daily basis under extreme weather, the minister said it was rally shameful for everyone. However, he said, there was an anti-beggary law, which needed to be implemented.
Sardar Ahmad of the MQM informed the house that a facility —Al-Falah House — measuring 27 acres in Korangi was built for keeping beggars as punishment but it was being used by the police.
The minister assured that he would take up the matter with the chief minister for getting it back from the police.
The house formed a special committee headed by Mr Khuhro on a privilege motion of Khairunnisa Mughal about misconduct by controller of examination of Sindh University.
A minority member of the PML-N, Sorath Thebo, did not press his adjournment motion after he was informed that the matter of an attack on a Hindu temple was already deliberated by the house and the culprits had been arrested and the case was in court.
The house also passed that Sindh Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2014 after enhancing the penalty for violation of traffic rules by 100 per cent. The chair also informed the house that the governor had assented to the Sindh Civil Servants (Regularisation of ad hoc appointments) (Amendment) Bill, 2014.