Pakistan to Ban Forced Marriages

PP Pervez Musharraf vowed , to empower women and outlaw forced marriages, blasting his critics as opponents of progress who shouldn't be voted to parliament.

Pakistan to Ban Forced Marriages

"A bill is being considered to remove unjust social practices against women and it should be passed by the parliament," Musharraf told a women's convention in Islamabad, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

He said the government was planning legislation to outlaw forced marriages, including a practice of marrying off women to settle disputes, and to amend unfair inheritance laws.

Musharraf reiterated a keen desire to empower women politically and economically so they could play their role in national development.

"I am proud that the government is considering this law for your betterment and I shall always stand by you," he told the convention.

"Our government has brought legislation banning honor killings, and an ordinance issued by me has provided for the release of about 1,300 women from jails."

In Islam it is not permissible for the guardian to compel the one under his guardianship to marry someone she does not desire to marry.

Rather, it is necessary to seek her consent and permission.


Musharraf described the recent amendment of the 1979 Hudood Ordinance on rape and adultery as victory for Pakistan, blasting its critics, reported Reuters.

"The women's protection bill is just the beginning and it was a victory for the entire nation and a victory for moderates," he said.

That bill was voted for by parliament last month amid a walkout by MPs of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), a coalition of six religious parties.

The new bill places rape laws under Pakistan's secular penal code and scraps harsh conditions that require victims to produce four male witnesses, and exposes them to prosecution for adultery if they are unable to prove the rime.

It slashed the adultery punishment to imprisonment of up to five years against only male perpetrator.

Under the Hudood code, a man and woman found guilty of having sex outside of marriage could be sentenced to death by stoning or 100 lashes, although that has never been enforced and those convicted of the crime get jail or a fine instead.

The MMA alliance argues that the new amendments would promote "free sex".

"I congratulate the entire nation that an aggressively progressive bill has been passed," Musharraf told the women's convention.

He derided its critics and said people should not vote for them in general elections, due next year or in early 2008.

"These people are against progress of Pakistan. They believe in extremism. They don't believe in moderation," Musharraf charged.

"Remember, you have to cast a vote. Remember, you will not vote for those who are against you ... go into the field and mobilize people not to vote for the wrong people.

"If you do that then the future of Pakistan will always be bright."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16