Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), has called for an end to child marriages in Pakistan.
In a recent post on his Instagram page, he wrote, “We in Sindh managed to save the 10-year-old girl above from marrying this man because we have banned child marriage. It’s time for the rest of Pakistan to do the same.”
Bilawal was referring to a recent attempt in Sindh to marry a minor to a 40-year-old man. The police of the province, where the PPP is in power, has arrested the groom and is in search of the girl’s father.
Sindh outlawed under-age marriage in 2014, raising the minimum age of marriage for boys and girls to 18 years. However, a recent attempt to pass a similar law at the national level faced opposition from members of the ruling party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and politicians from religious parties, who termed the bill “un-Islamic”.
“The PTI says its un-Islamic to ban child marriage,” Bilawal further wrote on his Instagram page, “The UAE has set marriage age at 18. Indonesia has set marriage at 18. Turkey has set marriage age at 18. Are these not Muslim countries?”