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December 4, 2018

Child protection, marriage age discussed

Lahore

December 4, 2018

LAHORE: A working group of parliamentarians and relevant stakeholders regarding girls’ education and prevention of child marriage demanded autonomous child protection body and a harmonised marriage age for boys and girls.

Punjab parliamentarians from all parties, prominent civil society activists, journalists and community representatives came together at provincial conference and parliamentary dialogue organised here to discuss the issues related to child marriage and formed recommendations to improve existing laws and their implications. MPAs Sumbal Malik and Bushra Butt from PML-N, Khadija Farooqi from PML-Q, and Ayesha Iqbal from PTI participated in the dialogue.

The dialogue was organised in the context of 16 days of activism in collaboration with NGOs to bring the communities together with policy makers. Legislators shared that bill to raise the marriage age has been presented in the provincial assembly and they assured to support the bill irrespective of party affiliation.

They said 16 years is very immature age to marry off your child. Legislators also shared that this is very sensitive issue and we want to resolve child marriage problem prevailing in the society. They formed an advisory working group of parliamentarians to combat child marriages in the province of Punjab. Prominent human rights activist IA Rehman demanded the government provide equal rights to girls. He said women in Pakistan do not have opportunities and rights of equal opportunities. He emphasised on the need to establish autonomous body to safeguard girls’ child rights.

Renowned religious scholar and member Council of Islamic Ideology Raghib Naeemi said that Shariat does not support marriage with a child. He suggested campaigning against child marriage through Ulema and Education Department all over the country. Girls from community shared their case studies and challenges they face. Alhamra Arts Council, Lahore, Chairman Tauqeer Nasir also spoke on the occasion.

GCU donation: An Old Ravian businessman has donated Rs2 million to the Government College University Lahore Endowment Fund Trust (GCU-EFT) for the scholarships of financially-challenged students. The scholarships would be given to deserving students every year on merit. The Old Ravian handed over the donation cheque to Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah at a graceful ceremony at GCU, while EFT Executive Committee Secretary Prof Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt was also present.

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