ISLAMABAD -  Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Wednesday rejected the Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill, 2017, while declaring it contrary to the injunctions of Islam and referred it to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) for any future review.

The committee viewed that it could not increase the lower age limit for marriage as it was contrary to the injunctions of Islam.

Committee Chairman Rehman Malik remarked that no law could be approved contrary to Islamic injunctions.

The committee also deferred discussion on the Prevention of Witchcraft Bill, 2017 as well as the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2017 moved by Senator Chaudhry Tanvir Khan, and the Criminal Laws (Amendment) (Protection of Rights of Transgender Persons) Bill, 2017 moved by Senator Rubina Khalid due to absence of movers.

The committee discussed progress on petition submitted by Naziran, daughter of Fateh Muhammad Khoso resident of Madras Muhallah, Khandhkot requesting for recovery of her missing father.

A senior officer of the interior ministry informed the committee that four agencies had told that the person was not in their custody and response from others was awaited.

It was also told that the ministry had written to the FC to seek information about whether any FIR was lodged for recovery or not.

Senator Israrullah Zehri raised the issue of missing persons in Balochistan and asked the chairman to take up the matter in the committee.

The chair directed Ministry of Interior to submit a comprehensive report on the issue of missing persons in an in-camera session of the committee.

“We must refrain from blaming our intelligence agencies and [the] LEAs for the missing persons in Balochistan and other parts of the country,” said Malik.

“We all know about what was confessed by the RAW’s agent Kulbhushan Jadhav,” he said.

The chair appreciated the services of Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal as head of the Missing Persons Commission, and hoped that he would meet the expectations of the people of Pakistan as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry told the meeting that a total of 4,329 cases of missing persons were brought to the commission and out of those, 2,943 had been resolved and disposed of, while around 1,300 were under progress.

The members of the committee pointed out that in many cases, the cases were disposed of because compensation was paid and the person was not recovered.

The committee also decided to take report from the federal and provincial governments on the rising incidents of stabbing of women in Karachi.

The meeting summoned police chief and home secretary Sindh in the next meeting of the committee for a detailed briefing.

The chair condemned and took serious notice of the missing of youth belonging to Shia community in Karachi during Muharramul Haram.

He directed secretary committee to direct the federal government and also the Sindh Government to brief the committee on the issue of missing Shia youth in Karachi. 

Denouncing statement of the US secretary defence that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was passing through a disputed territory, Rehman Malik said that the US was speaking the language of Pakistan’s enemy India, which was not acceptable.

He said that the CPEC was continuation of centuries-old trade route – the Silk Road, for the purpose of regional prosperity and development.

Malik said that the US rather than opposing the CPEC should support and participate in peaceful activities to ensure peace in the region.

The absence of secretary interior in the meeting was noticed.