Islamabad (Staff Report): The Senate Standing Committee, headed by Senator Rehman Malik, on Monday approved a bill recommending the minimum age of marriage to be changed to 18 years from 16.
According to details, Senator Rehman Malik said even the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has suggested to its member countries to set the minimum age for marriage at 18.
The amended bill however, faced resistance from senators before it was passed with a majority of three voting in its favour.
Senator Javed Abbasi was of the opinion that the bill was against the teachings of Islam as an age limit cannot be set for marriage. He added that decisions should be made within the boundaries of religion and norms.
Senator Chaudhary Tanvir Khan was also against the setting of an age limit for marriage. However, he said marriage before 18 years of age should be discouraged.
Officials of the religious affairs ministry, present in the session, said that as per religion, marriage is permissible when a person reaches puberty.
According to officials of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), a research suggests that in many cases puberty is reached at the age of nine.
However, others in the Senate said it is essential to set a date for marriage.
Senator Sehar Kamran, who moved the amended bill, said marriage is a legal contract for which an age limit should be set.
A scholar from a university, Dr Munir, said an Islamic state held the authority to determine an age for marriage.
The amended bill was tabled in the Senate earlier in the month but was rejected on the pretext of religion.