KARACHI: Irrespective of their political differences, the lawmakers of Sindh have not only criticised the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), but have also tabled a resolution calling for the dissolution of the council entirely.
The assembly showed strong reservations about the recent recommendations of the CII that, they believe, reveal a complete indifference and insensitivity towards women.
“No minimum age for marriage, recommendations against DNA testing for rape cases and no requirement of the wife’s consent for a second marriage are recommendations by the council’s head that are regressive and anti-women,” states the resolution, which was moved by Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, an MPA from the Pakistan Muslim League — Functional (PML-F).
The resolution also states, “It looks like instead of solving the issues, the CII is creating divisions and more confusion in the minds of people.”
The resolution recommends that the council should be done away with since it is unable to perform a positive role.
In her speech, Rashdi said, “If 18 years is the mandatory age for ID cards and driving licenses then why can’t the same age limit be fixed for marriage? Our society cannot tolerate child marriages in this modern world.”
Syed Sardar Ahmed of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) said that the council, which was established under Article 228 of the constitution, cannot impose its decision.
“The government should appoint those members of the council who have proper knowledge of religion and traditions,” he said.
Irfanullah Marwat of the Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz (PML-N) also stated that the CII should be done away with entirely.
During the Sindh Assembly session, the issue of rape cases in Karachi and other districts was also raised by assembly members who demanded that to make DNA testing mandatory and usable as evidence in rape cases.
“We will not defer to CII’s recommendations and we want to making DNA testing mandatory,” said Dr Sikandar Mandhro, the minister for parliamentary affairs.