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Pakistan Fails To Pass Bill To Outlaw Child Marriages

A bill to ban child marriages in Pakistan recently failed after a religious group, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), called the bill “anti-Islamic” and “blasphemous.”

Marvi Menon, of the Pakistan Muslim League party, authored the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill 2014 that would have raised the marriage age for girls to 18 and dealt out harsher consequences to men who broke the law, but Menon withdrew it on Jan. 14 after the CII opposed it on "purely religious grounds," notes The Express Tribune.

“Parliament cannot create legislation that is against the teachings of the Holy Quran or Sunnah,” CII Chairman Mohammad Khan Sheerani said, according to The Tribune.

After the CII voiced objection to the bill, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony opposed it as well.

The current wedding ages in Pakistan are 16 for females and 18 for males under the Child Marriage Restriction Act of 1929, but the CII opposes that as well, reports The Independent.

In 2014, the CII said that girls as young as 9 could get married if "the signs of puberty are visible."

Sources: The Independent, The Express Tribune / Photo Credit: UK Department for International Development/Flickr, srizki/Flickr

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