Pakistani politician wants parents who do not marry off children by 18-y-o to be fined

(Photo: Qurrat A’yun Studios)

A Pakistani politician has put forward a law before the country’s parliament which makes marriage compulsory by age 18. Under this proposed law, parents who do not marry off their children by this age could be fined.

Syed Abdul Rasheed, a candidate of the far-right political alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) – translated as ‘United Council of Action’, is the man pushing this law.

The bill, called The Sindh Compulsory Marriage Act, 2021, recommends fines of Rs500 ($6.88) for parents who fail to marry their children off.

“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,” he said.

Rasheed believes that such a law would control the “rise of societal ills, child rapes, immoral activities and crime”.

“To control all of this … 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,” The Dawn reports him saying.

He said that obstacles in the way of marriages such as unemployment and high costs were a “result of distancing from Islamic teachings”. “If we follow Islamic teachings, a lot of ease and blessings will descend upon the family, he added.