Ibrahim Qazi |
6th February 2017 and 2nd March 2017 marked two significant days in the history of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa assembly when Mr. Mohammad Atif Khan, KP Minister of Education tabled a bill after approval of the provincial cabinet titled “ to provide for free and compulsory primary and secondary education in the province of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa” followed by Dr Meher Taj Roghani, Deputy Speaker from Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf and Mrs. Rashida Riffat,Member of the Provincial Assembly of Jamaat e Islami Pakistan from district Nowshehra tabled a bill to regulate the tradition of dowry which was unanimously enacted as law by the legislature as agenda item number 6 and 7 of the assembly business.
According to the estimates of KP Bureau of Statistics the knowledge participation rates for of both sexes in schools is, Primary School [1-5] (61.83%), Middle School [6-8] (30.49%) and high 99-10] (22.92%) which shows a worrying descending trend of overall literacy rate of the province which plays a fundamental role in development of the society.
The bill also includes establishment of an endowment titled “Taleem Fund” which shall be eligible to receive grants from Federal and Provincial Governments as well as through means of philanthropy.
Under the KP Government bill for compulsory education the parents and lawful guardians who fail to send their children to school would be subject to punishment of 1 month imprisonment or fine after judicial conviction on the recommendation of school attendance authority of the Government.
The bill also includes establishment of an endowment titled “Taleem Fund” which shall be eligible to receive grants from Federal and Provincial Governments as well as through means of philanthropy. The fund would be maintained in a scheduled bank undersigned by at least two members of the School attendance authority.
In far flung areas where there are no Government or Community schools the students would be enrolled in Private schools on the expense of treasury and in absence of private schools the department will be obliged to establish new community schools.
The Dowry issue was raised in KP Assembly under sect 23 of Hisba Bill 2002 by Muttahida Majlis e Amal (MMA), an anti-dowry resolution was the presented by Awami National Party (ANP) parliamentarian Tabbasum Shams Katozai on Thursday 14 October 2010 that was unanimously approved by the KP assembly.
Moreover, the law titled, ‘the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Dowry, Bridal Gift and Marriage Functions Restriction Act, 2017,’ states that the total expenditures on marriages, including on baarats or valimas shall not exceed Rs75,000 and other ceremonies, including nikah, baraat or valima shall be concluded before 10pm.
Read more:KP passes a laudatory bill against dowry
The Dowry issue was raised in KP Assembly under sect 23 of Hisba Bill 2002 by Muttahida Majlis e Amal (MMA), an anti-dowry resolution was the presented by Awami National Party (ANP) parliamentarian Tabbasum Shams Katozai on Thursday 14 October 2010 that was unanimously approved by the KP assembly. “The resolution, number 448, read: “This house asks the government to impose a blanket ban on dowry and eliminate this curse and put a lid on social evils caused by it.”
Parents in our society save hard earned money for years to undertake the cultural obligations of dowry to marry their daughters due to terrible social norms prevailing in the society to maintain the status quo when religiously they are only supposed to feed, provide with shelter and brace them with jewels of contemporary knowledge, manners and wisdom to face the challenges of life in their own quest for health, wealth and prosperity and co-exist with different societies in tolerance.
Dowry also known as “Mahr” in the light of Quran and Sunnah is undemanding towards institution of family which is a landmark the Islamic civilization to appropriate the social fabric:
Allah says in the Quran “And give to the women (whom you marry) their mahr (obligatory bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart…” [al-Nisaa’ 4:4]
The mahr is the right of the wife, and it is not permitted for her father or anyone else to take it except with her approval. Abu Saalih said: “When a man married off his daughter, he would take her mahr away from her, but Allaah forbade them to do that, and gave women the right to the mahr they received.” (Tafseer Ibn Katheer).
The province has remained afflicted by the menace of terrorism and militancy,but has recuperated, which speaks volumes of the resilience of the people.
Anas ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and there were traces of yellow (perfume) on him. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked him about it, and he told him that he had just married a woman of the Ansaar. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked him, “How much did you give her?” He said: “Gold equal to the weight of one date stone.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Give a waleemah (wedding feast) even if only with one sheep.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 4756).
Walk the talk
The province has remained afflicted by the menace of terrorism and militancy, but has recuperated, which speaks volumes of the resilience of the people. They deserve much better and hence it is incumbent upon the law-makers to work for their welfare.
It is now imperative for the KP Assembly to enforce the approved laws and proceed to legislate on rightful distribution of wealth to women as well as enact similar laws to prevent violence, child and forced marriages in accordance with the principles laid down by Islam that guarantees equal rights to women.
Over two decades ago the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Compulsory Primary Education Act, 1996 was passed by the provincial assembly, but so far it has not been implemented whereby Article 25A of the Constitution states: “The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to 16 years in such a manner as may be determined by law.” This article was incorporated into the Constitution through its 18th amendment.
Ibrahim Qazi is a Pakistani commentator on a wide array of geo-political affairs with an aim to foster global citizenship. He tweets @miqazi. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.