Muslim lawmakers fail to pass bill to protect young girls claiming it is “un-Islamic”

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A bill aimed at increasing the minimum age for marriage of a girl from 16 to 18 years was rejected as “un-Islamic” by Pakistani lawmakers.

On Thursday, Pakistan’s National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Religious Affairs, which is a constitutional advisory body on Sharia law issues, rejected the ‘The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill.’

The bill would have raised the prison sentence for adult males who contract a child marriage from one month up to two years, and would increase the current fine of 1,000 rupees to 100,000 rupees (about US$940). The bill proposed increased punishments and fines for a person who “performs, conducts or directs any child marriage,” and for parents or guardians who promote or permit a child marriage.

Balking at the notion of raising the legal age of marriage consent, the committee called the proposed amendment “un-Islamic”.

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