parents will have to provide a "justified reason of delay"
A Pakistani politician has put forward a draft law that would make marriage compulsory for people aged 18.
The draft law also stated that parents will be fined if they do not obey.
Syed Abdul Rasheed, a candidate of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), proposed the regulation at the Sindh Provincial Assembly on May 26, 2021.
The bill is called The Sindh Compulsory Marriage Act, 2021.
It recommends fines of Rs. 500 (£2.30) for parents who fail to marry their children off at the age of 18.
If a marriage does not happen by this age, parents will have to provide a “justified reason of delay” to the Deputy Commissioner of the District under the proposed law.
The bill also states that parents will have to deposit any fines given out into the official account for the Deputy Commissioner’s Office.
In Sindh, the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed in 2014 to ban marriages before the age of 18 and make it a punishable offence.
On the draft law, Rasheed said:
“I believe that after 18 years of age, if there is a reason [for not marrying], parents should submit an affidavit along with a commitment of the time the person would be married off.”
Shortly after the draft law was submitted, a video was shared.
In the video, Rasheed allegedly said the law would control the “rise” of “societal ills, child rapes, immoral activities and crime” within Pakistani society.
He added: “According to the shariat of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Islamic teachings, Muslim males and females have been given the right to marry after attaining puberty or after 18 years of age and fulfilling this is the responsibility of their guardians, especially their parents.”
Rasheed also claimed that “distance from Islamic teachings’ had resulted in “obstacles” preventing marriages, including unemployment and high costs.
Rasheed has been a member of the Sindh Assembly since August 2018.
He called on the government to ban dowry, which he said would make the marriage process easier.
Rasheed said he hoped all Sindh Assembly members would approve the law for the “happiness and facilitation of positive pathways” for the province’s youth.
It was reported that the bill won the approval of multiple members of the Sindh Assembly.
However, other members of the Provincial Assembly said that the bill is unlikely to be approved.
They cited the impracticality of failing to consider the financial stability of the couple.