KARACHI - The Sindh Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law, Parliamentary Affairs & Human Rights on Friday recommended to the government enact a law against the abhorrent custom of forced or compensation marriages, legitimised by tribal jirgas (to settle feuds).In its last session, the Sindh Assembly had, while referring a resolution tabled by PPP’s Humera Alwani to the committee, advised it to come up with a report on the ways to put an end to the growing practice of compensation marriages.In its report to the provincial assembly, the SA body favoured the adoption of the resolution by the House, keeping in view the importance of its sensitive subject. The committee, which met under MPA Syed Bachal Shah, suggested to the government to make a law against the practice that forced people to give away their daughters in marriages as compensation. The SA body chief and other members Najam Abro, Humera Alwani, Muhammad Shoib Ibrahim and Nusrat Sehar Abbasi also suggested to the Sindh Women & Social Welfare Department to formulate a draft law on the subject and deposit it with the Law Department for consideration. Nevertheless, the committee members were informed by Law Department Additional Secretary Jan Muhammad Kalhoro that a law and justice commission of the federal government had already proposed the enactment of a similar law. The additional secretary further said if the Sindh government made such a law through amendments to the family laws, the same could be in contradiction with the federal one that had already been proposed. A Sindh Home Department official, however, contradicted his argument, saying that after the passage of the 18th Amendment, the provincial government was authorised to make a law on the very subject. Home Department Additional Chief Secretary Sohail Akbar Shah was of the view that the penalty for the offence of the compensation marriage should be enhanced. The Home Department official also informed the meeting that his department had prepared a draft bill on the domestic violence against women. He said he wanted to share the draft law with lawmakers so that their suggestions could also be incorporated.Upon this, the committee head, Bachal Shah, said there must be a law, under which exemplary punishment could be awarded in the case of trampling of a woman or girl’s basic rights. Humera Alwani told the meeting that certain influential people, including tribal chiefs and some lawmakers, decided the fate of women and little girls by declaring them as ‘kari’ and gave them in marriages as compensation to settle tribal feuds. She was of the view that that the government should impose Section-144 to take action against such jirgas, until the introduction of a new law in this respect. In reply to queries of Alwani, the Home Department additional secretary said that a new law was only way to end the practice of holding of jirgas. Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of the PML-F underlined the need for implementing the existing laws. She reminded the meeting that present Assembly passed a number of resolutions on various subjects but did not ensure their implementation.