KARACHI - Terming the recent recommendations in favour of child marriage and against DNA tests in rape indictments by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), the Sindh Assembly on Monday passed a resolution unanimously, demanding the federal government dissolve the council for its failure to play a positive role in the country.
Moved by female lawmaker Mahtab Akbar Rashidi of PML-F from the opposition benches, the resolution was jointly signed by parliamentary leaders of all the parties, ruling PPP, MQM, PTI and PML-N.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro, Senior Minister for Education Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, MQM’s Syed Sardar Ahmed, PML-N’s Irfanullah Marwat and PTI’s Samar Ali Khan signed the resolution and spoke against the CII’s recent recommendations which, according to them, were anti-women in nature.
In its resolution, the provincial assembly expressed its strong reservation over the recent recommendations of Council of Islamic Ideology (CCI), which according to them, was showing complete indifference and insensitivity to the issue pertaining to women.
The resolution opposed the Council of Islamic Ideology’s recommendations in favour of child marriage, second marriage without permission of the first wife and against DNA test for rapists’ indictments, terming all these recommendations an anti-women mindset.
The provincial assembly’s unanimous opinion was that, instead of resolving the issues, the Council of Islamic Ideology was creating more divide and confusion in the minds of the people.
The Sindh PA’s lawmakers, in their joint resolution, urged the federal government to dissolve the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) which, according to them, was unable to perform a positive role.
Senior Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said child marriage was against the basic principles of Islam, so the CII should avoid proposing anti-Islam and anti-women steps.
Mahtab Akbar Rashidi of PML-F, who was mover of the resolution, said the CII, which was only a recommendatory body, was gender-biased.
She said: “We, the females, should raise voice within our parties to get due role and status according to our ability.” She argued that when the age of 18 years was required to get CNICs, driving licences and other all documents, the same age must be mandatory for marriage.
PML-N’s parliamentary leader Irfanullah Marwat said the CII didn’t have any powers and authority to impose its “Fatwas” as it was only a recommendatory body. He said if the National Assembly lacked courage to oppose the CII, the Sindh Assembly would not accept its recommendations.
MQM’s Syed Sardar Ahmed said the government should appoint those as members of the Council of Islamic Ideology who had knowledge of Islamic laws. Later, the house passed the resolution unanimously amid thumping of desks.
The house, through a resolution moved by Sharmila Farooqui of PPP, condemned the judicial murder of former Prime Minister Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and paid rich tribute to him on his 35th anniversary on April 4.
Through another resolution, the Sindh Assembly condemned the attack on journalist Raza Rumi in Lahore, demanding the Punjab government take action against the culprits. The provincial assembly also reaffirmed commitment to the freedom of expression and speech, terming it a basic right of all citizens of Pakistan and urging all the members to stand by journalists and media persons.
Earlier, opposition leader, Syed Faisal Sabzwari, on a point of order, drew attention of the government towards a barbaric incident of murder of a five-year-old girl after rape in the Bheempura area of the city. He demanded the government toughen the laws and ensure exemplary punishment against the rapists.
The MQM leader asked the government to ensure setting up of forensic labs and make legislation for holding DNA test mandatory in rape cases.
In his reply, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro supported the views shared by the opposition leader and said the Sindh government would make a law soon to ensure DNA test mandatory in rape cases.
Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon suggested a change in academic syllabi to teach children about their rights.
Later, the house passed “The Provincial Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2014” unanimously, increasing penalty against the violation of motor vehicles and traffic rules in the province.
The Sindh government was following the Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1965. Through the amendments, penalties of at least 52 categories of traffic violations have been increased. They include overloading in public transport vehicles from Rs 300 to Rs 1000, obstruction in movement of emergency vehicles from Rs 150 to Rs300, driving at night without proper light from Rs 300 to Rs 500 and driving with tinted glasses from Rs 300 to Rs 1,000.
Earlier, a special committee was formed to look into the privilege motion of Ms Khairunnisa Mughal of PPP against the controller examinations of Sindh University, Tariq Narejo, who didn’t attend the her call.
Meanwhile, replying to a call-attention notice of Ms Naila Munir of MQM, the parliamentary affairs minister told the house that the Sindh government had provided wheat to 225,896 families for one month, while the similar relief would be given for another three months.
Through her call-attention notice, Dr Seema Zia of PTI sought from the government a plan to ban the abuse of infants and children on streets by beggars under extreme climate. The provincial minister said a law already existed in this regard, saying “we all should come forward to implement the same.”
Mir Nadir Magsi of the ruling PPP, while referring to a long absence of PML-N MPA Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, former Sindh chief minister, from the house, suggested disqualification of those members who do not bother to attend the session. The chair said legislation in this regard was required as currently no such law existed at present.
Meanwhile, PML-F’s Nand Kumar and others raised the issue of theft of statues from a Hindu temple in Deplo of Tharparkar and said such incidents were a conspiracy to create hatred among the permanent residents of the province.
Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon also termed such incidents a conspiracy to create hatred and differences among the Hindus and Muslims in the province. He added the government would foil all such nefarious designs.
The house which commenced at 11.25am was adjourned by Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani to meet again on April 7.