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Sherani up in arms against child marriage restraint bill

26 March, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Continuing with his radical ideology, Council of Islamic Ideology (CCI) Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani on Tuesday strongly opposed the proposed amendments in the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill 2014, terming it contrary to Islamic teachings and law.

Sherani alleged that the amendment bill was submitted in National Assembly on the" pressure of NGOs".

"Some people want to please the international community against Islamic teachings and practices," he said Tuesday.

Minister of State for Religious Affairs Pir Muhammad Aminul Hasnat believed it was not an appropriate time to table this bill.

"Pakistan is passing through critical time and the government has so many challenges to deal with, such as economic and security," he told the journalists after the NA session. Maulana Ameer Zaman, another MNA, said Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill 2014 should be referred to the CCI for discussion.

Criticising the bill moved by Marvi Memon seeking to amend the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929, the Maulana said, the Child Marriage Restraint Amendment Bill 2014 was "unIslamic".

The CCI, a seemingly controversial body comprising of orthodox radical clerics from conservative religious parties, has declared the law that mandates the consent of the first spouse for second marriage as unIslamic and said that a man is not bound to seek permission from his first wife for second marriage.

"Under Shariah, a man is not bound to seek approval for second marriage from the first wife," declared Maulana Sherani. Not only that, Sherani has declared several clauses of the Family Ordinance 1961 unIslamic, contending that procedure and directives regarding polygamy have been clarified in the Shariah.

The Section 6 of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 allows a man to contract a second marriage only after obtaining consent of his first wife. Under the law, contracting a second marriage without the prior permission of the first wife (or earlier wives, if there is more than one) is a crime punishable with imprisonment or fine or both.

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