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Sindh govt will reject bill seeking compulsory marriage: Wahab

KARACHI: The Sindh government has distanced itself from the bill introduced in the provincial assembly calling for mandatory marriage by the age of 18.

Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said that the bill was introduced by Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) lawmaker Abdur Rasheed for “making marriage compulsory for all adults and proposing punishment against parents whose children above 18 remain unmarried”.

“This bill has nothing to do with Sindh government and will be rejected by PPP members,” he said.

A private bill was submitted in the Sindh Assembly a day earlier seeking to make it compulsory for parents to marry off their children after they turn 18 or face Rs500 fine for violating the proposed law.

The bill is called the Sindh Compulsory Marriage Act, 2021. A draft of the bill was submitted by MMA’s Syed Abdul Rasheed in the secretariat of the assembly.

The proposed bill makes it compulsory for every person turning 18 to marry. However, the bill will likely be rejected by the provincial assembly as the PPP has a majority in the legislature.

The proposed law seeks to makes binding upon parents to submit an affidavit in the office of the deputy commissioner, explaining why they are unable to marry off their children at the age of 18 years.

In case of failure to submit any such affidavit, the parents could face Rs500 fine for each of their unmarried children.

After submitting his proposed bill, the MMA lawmaker said that his bill was in accordance with the teachings of Islam, which called for marriage after attaining adulthood.

He said the government should introduce laws and make efforts to ensure austerity in marriage functions. He hoped that his proposed law would be helpful in supporting the youth and curbing immoral activities in society.

He said the government should play its part to make marriages an easy task with no undue burden on parents in accordance with the teachings of Islam.