ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Religious Affairs on Thursday unanimously rejected a bill aimed at increasing the minimum legal age for marriage of a girl to 18 years from 16.
‘The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2016’, a private member’s bill, was moved by MNA Kishwer Zehra.
The NA committee — which met under the chairmanship of MNA Hafiz Abdul Kareem — called the proposed amendment ‘un-Islamic’ for being against Sunnah. Even MNAs belonging to other religions endorsed the rejection.
The committee also unanimously approved ‘The Education of Holy Quran According to Recitation by Sighting and with Translation, Learning by Heart and with Correct Pronunciation Bill, 2014’.
This bill was moved by MNA Sahibzada Tariqullah and was approved as “The Holy Quran (Education and Propagation, Recitation by Sighting, Translation, Learning by Heart and Correct Pronunciation) Act, 2017”.
The committee also discussed ‘The National Commission for Minority Rights Act, 2015’ at the request of MNA Lal Chand Malhi.
MNA Tariq Christopher Qaiser recommended increase in the number of commission members, giving representation to all minorities. He also called for allowing the minorities to directly elect their representatives.
In response, the committee constituted a sub-committee under MNA Ali Muhammad Khan with MNAs Lal Chand Malhi, Tariq Christopher Qaiser and Sahibzada Muhammad Yaqub as members.
Later, officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs briefed the committee about Hajj arrangements under the new Hajj policy 2017.
The ministry officials expressed reservations over Rs10,000 increase in Hajj expenses. They were briefed about reasons for the increase, including the cost of various services provided to pilgrims.
They were informed that the Ministry of Religious Affairs would provide three superior quality meals to all pilgrims as well as comfortable accommodations and travel facilitates.