Pak Punjab Govt' withdraws new clauses from 'nikahnama' following massive criticism

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Lahore, July 10 (ANI): Following massive criticism, the Pakistan Punjab province's government has withdrawn the new clauses that it had implemented in the 'nikah' form.

Confirming the withdrawal of the clauses, provincial Law Minister Rana Sanalullah said the government has decided to withdraw the notification regarding the new sections in the 'nikahnama' for the time being, The Daily Times reports.

The new clauses had evoked severe discontent among people, who were of the view that new sections would increase forced marriages.

Former Information Minister Sherry Rehman voiced her reservation over the introduction of new clauses, terming the step against women's freedom.

"The originators of such designs are the people who do not wish women to have their due status in the society," Rehman said.

"The country at present is facing a number of challenges and some forces want to further aggravate the situation by instigating new issues," the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader said.

Noted social worker Farzana Bari had also criticised the move.

"It seems as if the Punjab government is not aware of the ground realities of the high illiteracy rate, which prevails in the society," Bari said while referring to the clauses such as the signatures of the parents on the nikah form and writing of the groom's date of birth.

Bari, however, backed clauses such as mandatory blood tests of the bride and groom, saying "it will help in uncovering diseases like AIDS"

"The clause to attach pictures on the nikah form would be beneficial in discouraging bogus marriage certificates," she said. (ANI)

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