The Council of Islamic Ideology, known as CII, said the Pakistani laws regarding second marriage of a man in the presence of first wife were against religious principles.
"Sharia allows men to have more than one wife and we demanded that the government should amend the law," Council's chairman Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani told reporters yesterday after a meeting on the issue.
Sheerani said seeking permission from one's wife before entering into another marriage is not necessary. The council met in Islamabad and analysed the existing family laws in Pakistan. Sheerani said Islamic Sharia law does not require permission from a wife before a man enters into another marriage, while according to the Muslim Family Law 1961, permission from existing wife is mandatory.
He said this was contrary to Islamic Sharia law. "We urge the government to formulate Sharia-compliant laws related to nikah, divorce, adulthood and 'will'," Sheerani said. The move by the CII was slammed across social media with even men criticising the ruling.
Pakistani documentary maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, whose film on acid attack victims won an Oscar in 2012, tweeted, "The council of Islamic ideology making us proud yet again! Wife's consent not needed for another marriage". Zahid Hussain, one of Pakistan's leading analysts, tweeted, "Seems the Taliban have already taken over. Wife's consent unnecessary for another marriage".
Nilofer Afridi Qazi, an activist, tweeted, "CII disempowers women. Pak is just getting better."