Islamabad - Pakistan's top religious body has declared the prohibition of child marriage incompatible with Islam and demanded that the government amend its laws, prompting outrage from human rights activists.
The Council of Islamic Ideology, which was formed in 1962 to advise parliament on the compatibility of laws with Sharia, also ruled that a man does not need permission from his wife if he wants to marry another woman.
Tahir Ashrafi, a member of the body told AFP on Wednesday that Pakistan's Prohibition of Child Marriages Act, which stipulates the age of marriage at 16 for women and 18 for men, was not in accordance with Islamic teachings.
“There is no specific age limit for marriage in Sharia,” he said.
“Sharia says an individual can marry when he or she reaches puberty and puberty cannot be defined by age,” adding: “Family members can marry a child if they think he or she has reached puberty.”